Burkina Faso: What kind of game is the Supreme council of the judiciary playing?

The judicial situation in Burkina Faso has sparked deep concerns within the population, which has been denouncing persistent abuses and dysfunction in the judicial system for several years. The stance of the Superior Council of the Judiciary (CSM), which is accused of turning a blind eye to abuses and opposing government-proposed reforms, is causing apprehension.

The CSM issued a statement dated this Friday, December 29, 2023, openly criticizing the reforms envisioned by the Burkinabe government.

This reaction raises questions among the people, as there appears to be a disconnect between the expectations of the population and the stance adopted by the judicial oversight body.

According to many Burkinabes, the justice system has long been characterized by unfair practices, inconsistent decisions, and insensitivity to the concerns of the population.

Several recent cases have triggered public outrage, such as the “fine coal affair” shedding light on a judicial system where financial considerations often take precedence over fairness.

One of the main criticisms leveled against the Burkinabe justice system is that of «double standards».

A widespread sentiment persists that judicial decisions are not impartially rendered but are influenced by financial considerations and privileged relationships.

This perception has eroded the people’s trust in the judicial system to the extent that, according to polls, 98% of the population no longer has confidence in this institution.

The CSM’s declaration, opposing government reforms, is seen as an attempt to maintain a status quo that no longer meets the aspirations of the Burkinabe people.

The proposed reforms are deemed a necessary response to a deep and widespread crisis of confidence.

The Burkinabe people strongly encourage the transitional authorities to persevere in their reform efforts to restore confidence in the judicial system. Calls for judicial independence are often modelled on the French system, which does not align with the realities of Burkina Faso.

In a context where Burkina Faso is engaged in a struggle for its freedom and sovereignty, judicial reform becomes an unprecedented step to strengthen the foundations of the country.

People’s expectations include a fair, transparent, and impartial justice system, free from external influences and ready to serve the public interest.

Maurice K. ZONGO



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