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The challenges related to the insecurity in the Sahel have weakened the efforts of the government to prohibit torture. The alignment of the national legal and institutional framework on the Convention against Torture has not been efficient over recent years, due to the activities of terrorist groups in the Northern regions. Several armed groups such as Ansarul Islam, the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims, and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara have allegedly conducted most of the attacks against the population, including against State representatives and traditional chiefs. In response, security forces have carried out gross human rights violations against local communities accused of supporting or hiding alleged terrorists. The fight against terrorism has resulted in numerous cases of torture, extrajudicial executions and sexual violence, mainly targeting the Fulani community. Additionally, self-defence groups such as the Koglweogo (“bush guardians”) and others have committed human rights abuses in support of government security operations.
In 2016, the country adopted a law which enshrines the same definition of torture as that established by the Convention against Torture. This came following Burkina Faso’s first review by the Committee Against Torture in 2014, during with the OMCT submitted a joint alternative report with SOS-Torture Network member Mouvement Burkinabè des Droits de l’Homme et des Peuples (MBDHP). The OMCT submitted a second alternative report during the country’s second review, in November 2019. It focused on the torture of migrants by Burkinabè security forces at the border with Niger.