Background:

Burkina Faso in West Africa first became independent from French colonialism in 1960, and, in West has since suffered many military coups. From 1987 until October 2014 Blaise Compaoré was president of the country (after performing a military coup himself), and was responsible for oppression, torture and killing of his opposition and decedents. Today Blaise Compaoré is wanted by Burkina Faso authorities to stand trial for these crimes.

At the time of a planned presidential election in September 2015, the presidential guard executed another military coup and declared a new government under them, but this coup failed and the guard was dismantled. In October 2016, it was reported that another military coup organized by former presidential guard soldiers was prevented.

 

The Israeli connection:

According to advocate Eitay Mack The poor country has had military ties with Israel for years, which is also tied into Israel’s connections to Ivory Coast and Liberia. On top of arm deals, there are reports that Israel trained the presidential guard of Compaoré, a guard that in effect acted as his own personal military and intelligence agency. The headquarters of the presidential guard in the country’s capital acted as a known center for torture. In the same way that weapons do not disappear and are passed on from hand to hand, the same can be said about the training that is still used by the guard’s former soldiers to terrorize the state and its citizens.

Much like Uganda that since the 60’s has been used by Israeli in order to move arms to South Sudan, so did Burkina Faso serve Israel as an arms transfer hub to West African countries. As an example, in the last UN Security Council report, it was stated that Israel broke the arms embargo on the Ivory Coast by transferring arms through Burkina Faso.  

In February 2015, the temporary president of Burkina Faso, who was himself the deputy head of the notorious presidential guard, came for a visit in Israel. At the end of his meeting with Israeli president Reuven Rivlin, a joint statement of the two countries was presented stating that the cooperation between the two countries will continue “with an emphasis on the military aspect”.

In 2014, advocate Eitay Mack filed an appeal to the Israeli ministry of defense to stop the export of arms to Burkina Faso, at least until stability is restored in the country, but the ministry of defense denied the request. This was less than a year before the 2015 military coup.