ASSN, DCAF Parliamentary Workshop in Burkina Faso

download (1)12 June 2014
Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso

On 10-12 June 2014, the African Security Sector Network (ASSN) and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) jointly organised and facilitated a three-day parliamentary capacity building workshop in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. Organised around the theme ‘Parliamentary Oversight of the security and armed forces: Control mechanisms, issues and challenges’, the overall objective of the workshop was to allow members of the Parliamentary Commission on Foreign Affairs and Defence (CAED) to better and more efficiently provide security sector oversight.

The workshop followed a June 2013 ‘needs assessment’ in the country’s capital, Ouagadougou, and its activities constituted part of the process of implementing a protocol signed by DCAF and ASSN with the Burkinabé parliament.

The opening ceremony was chaired by the President of the CAED, Pascaline Tamini/Bihoun. The training sessions were facilitated by experts from DCAF and the ASSN, with a final participatory session facilitated by the parliamentarians themselves.

The specific objectives of the workshop were to:

• Sensitise CAED members as to their role in parliamentary oversight of the security sector and the tools at their disposal to help them carry out their mandate;
• Enhance the knowledge of CAED members in the following areas: good governance of the security sector; gender inclusivity; parliamentary oversight mechanisms in relation to the armed forces and security services; interaction between the National Assembly and the security forces; and budgetary control of the security sector by parliament;
• Work with CAED members to improve their ability to identify and analyse important security issues;
• Provide a suitable platform for reflection on the issues of security governance in the current geopolitical context and the role of parliamentarians in security sector oversight; and to
• Discuss CAED’s experiences and challenges in relation to its oversight function, and to identify an action plan to meet these challenges.

The ASSN was represented at the workshop by its Chair, Professor Boubacar N’Diaye; ASSN members Colonel Nouhoum Sangare (Mali) and Colonel Jean-Pierre Bayala (Burkina Faso); and ASSN Programme Officer Elom Khaunbiow. On its part, DCAF was represented by Dr. Mpako Foaleng, head of its Africa Programme; and Programme Officer Scott Deely.