Ombuds Institutions for the armed forces in francophone countries of sub-Saharan Africa

Ombudsmen Sub Saharan Africa DCAF

This mapping study on ombuds institutions for the armed forces in francophone sub-Saharan African states is a project initiated under the aegis of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) in collaboration with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), in the framework of the OIF programme “Providing Support to Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding”.

The mapping study is the continuation of extensive research conducted within the context of a first project entitled “Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces in Francophone Africa: Burkina Faso, Burundi and Senegal.” The objectives of the mapping study are to develop a comprehensive analysis of the activities and role of the ombuds institutions; to identify factors that may facilitate or hinder the establishment and functioning of such institutions; to encourage ombuds institutions to deal with the armed forces and to improve the functioning and effectiveness of existing institutions; and to involve the ombuds institutions of the states concerned in the global process of exchanging good practice and experience between existing ombuds institutions.

The research explores sub-Saharan states, some with ombuds institutions whose mandates include military matters (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Niger, Senegal, and Togo), some who have established general ombuds institutions, but without such jurisdiction over the armed forces (Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of Guinea, Madagascar and Mali), and some who lack these institutions (Comoros and the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The paper delineates some common characteristics of general ombuds institutions, before pointing the challenges they confront, from the level of resources to a lack of visibility.

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