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Since 1960 Burkina Faso has experienced instability, including several coups.[1] Since 2015, the country has been affected by violence attributed to armed jihadist groups linked with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State militant group.[2] However, Burkina Faso has been regulating the production, possession, and trade of SALW and ammunition for years, which has its roots in a long tradition of domestic industry for artisanal production of hunting rifles and pistols, as well as its dynamic private market for firearms and related ammunition in the country.[3]

Burkina Faso has signed and ratified the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the UN Firearms Protocol.[4] In 2018, the government initiated a review process of national legislation on arms control and management aimed at its strengthening and alignment with international instruments.[5] Since 2015, Burkina Faso, in collaboration with the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), has been conducting risks assessments on ammunition storage sites. Also, projects on PSSM training are put in place by MAG. UNMAS provides assistance on threats reduction posed by explosive ordnance.[6] A national weapons and ammunition management baseline assessment was implemented in 2018 in cooperation with UNIDIR.[7]

[1] BBC News (2022, January 24): Burkina Faso Military Says It Has Seized Power.

[2] RFI News (2021, December 26): Burkina Faso Declares Two Days of Mourning after Suspected Jihadists Kill 41.

[3] Conflict Armament Research (2022, June): The Illicit Circulation of Small Arms and Light Weapons and Their Ammunition in Burkina Faso. Saferworld.

[4] Alpers, Philip, Irene Pavesi and Michael Picard (2022): Burkina Faso – Gun Facts, Figures and the Law. Sydney School of Public Health, The University of Sydney.

[5] UNIDIR (2020): Weapons and Ammunition Management Country Insight: Burkina Faso.

[6] GICHD (2022): Ammunition Management Activity Platform.

[7] UNIDIR (2020): Weapons and Ammunition Management Country Insight: Burkina Faso.

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Map of Burkina Faso

Further information

Accidental explosions

Since the beginning of data collection in 1979 by the Small Arms Survey, two accidental explosions were reported in Burkina Faso (Table 1).

Table 1. Accidental explosions in Burkina Faso (1979-2021)







Bobo Dioulasso

State (military)





Non-state (private)



Source: Small Arms Survey (December 2021): Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS). Database.

Cases of diversion

Numerous cases of diversion have been reported in Burkina Faso (Table 2).

Table 2. Cases of diversion of arms, ammunition, and explosives in Burkina Faso





Djibo town in Soum province

Al Qaeda-affiliated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin attacked a regiment-size military base and looted weapons and ammunition.


Northern Burkina Faso

Terrorists looted a military base and killed about 50 policemen.



A number of arms and ammunition were stolen during attacks on a military camp.



An unknown quantity of weapons was stolen from an armoury.



The policemen looted weapons from a military camp.

Sources: ACLED (2022, November 3): ACLED Regional Overview: Africa.; Wilkins, Henry (2021, December 31): Sahel Conflict Set to Worsen in 2022: Analysts. VOA News.; Koné, Hassane (2020, February 12): With Arms Flows from Libya Declining, Military Barracks and Poorly Controlled National Stockpiles Are Being Targeted. Institute for Security Studies.; The NEWS (2016, January 22): Burkina Faso: Compaore’s Allies Loot Armoury in Dawn Raid.; Ktar NEWS (2012, May 8): Burkina Faso Fires 136 Cops after Mutiny Last Year.


Insufficient information on the disposal of ammunition in Burkina Faso.


To further enhance safe and secure ammunition management, the following needs have been identified for Burkina Faso:

  • Development or refinement of standards and procedures on stockpile management, in particular – technical, financial and material assistance;
  • Capacity development for the destruction of surplus stockpiles, in particular – technical, financial and material assistance.

Source: PoA Report 2022, Burkina Faso.

Published Date: Tuesday 17 of January 2023