Opinion of Dr. Samuel Mahaffy. It is time for the African country, Burkina Faso to be able to live into its name of the “land of the honest people” instead of being the land of drone bases and surveillance. With the fleeing of the President of Burkina Faso it is the opportunity for the opening of a new chapter in this African nation’s history.
Even the name of the country of Burkina Faso in unknown to most in the West. While there is general ignorance about the African continent, the country of Burkina Faso has been shrouded in great mystery.
U.S. and Western intelligence would prefer that we remain ignorant about the country of Burkina Faso. It has served as a major launching base for drone and surveillance operations in Africa. It’s strategic importance is great in the militarization of Africa that has seen Western intelligence and military forces operating with little respect for the priority needs of the people of African countries.
It is time for the future of Burkina Faso to be given back to the people of the country. Burkina Faso is a nation, not a drone base. It has its own rich cultural and linguistic traditions. Since its independence from France it has been ruled by leaders willing to allow outside forces to determine its priorities.
After facing extreme poverty and corruption in its political leadership, the African Union has called for a peaceful transition in Burkina Faso that allows the voices of the people and civil society to determine the future of the country.
With the ouster of their President this month, the people of Burkina Faso have spoken up for the right of self-determination. It is time for that to be respected. Events in Burkina Faso should also be a cause for exposing and critiquing the militarization of much of Africa by forces that have little investment in local priorities and the needs of the people.
Let Burkina Faso be the land of the honest people seeking to meet the essential needs of villages and communities instead of the land of drone bases and surveillance for outside forces.
Dr. Samuel Mahaffy is Senior Advisor to Salaam Urban Village Association. As a consultant to nonprofit boards and NGOs around the world, including across Africa, he has assisted more than five hundred organizations. He writes frequently on topics related to peacemaking and Africa on his website at www.samuelmahaffy.com.