Judges, clerks, and penitentiary staff throughout the country launched a 72-hour strike on Monday, June 12, to denounce recurring violence targeting the judicial sector and what they allege is a lack of response by security forces. Courts will not issue any documents and all visits to detained persons will be suspended during the strike. Judges and prison security guards reportedly demanded a meeting with the ministers of Justice, Security, and Territorial administration to discuss security arrangements at courthouses and detention centers. The six unions who signed the strike declaration warned that the strike could be extended if their demands are not met.
On June 8, residents in Manga (Centre-Sud region) reportedly ransacked the local courthouse to demand the immediate and unconditional liberation of an individual placed under a detention warrant. Normal operations have not yet resumed at the courthouse as of June 12. In a separate incident in March, staff at the Koupéla courthouse faced public pressure and threats following a complaint filed by a citizen against members of the self-defense group Kolgweogo.
The June 12 strike comes amid a significant socioeconomic crisis. Protests by the opposition as well as various sectors of society, public and private, regularly take place demanding better working and living conditions, condemning the government’s perceived mismanagement of the country, as well as their heavy-handed suppression of opposition elements.
Individuals present in Ouagadougou and across the country are advised to keep abreast of the situation, to remain vigilant, and to avoid all political events and public gatherings as violence may flare up without warning.