Koglweogos: The Risk of Community Ownership of Security
In Burkina Faso, community run security forces known as Koglweogo have been working at a local level to prevent and punish crime, from theft to armed attack. However, recent violations of human rights and abuse of the rule of law by members of the Koglweogo raise questions about the state’s ability to control these communities led forces and maintain the monopoly on legitimate physical constraint. A balance needs to be struck between containing the Koglweogo’s power while acknowledging the role they play in enabling citizens to feel associated with their own security. This report begins by examining the structure of the security services in Burkina Faso and goes on to explain the origin, development and impact of the Koglweogo and their relationship with the state and government security forces. The report concludes by exploring problems arising with the Koglweogo, including human rights abuses, and offers recommended solutions.