On 22 November 2020, Burkina Faso will hold joint presidential and legislative elections. The Burkinabe will cast their votes amid the twin pressures of increasing activity by both armed groups and community-based self-defence groups such as the koglweogos, the dozos and the rougas. This policy brief scrutinises the risks of election-related violence by vigilante groups and suggests ways in which such risks could be reduced – particularly in light of the eroding capacity of the Burkinabe state and the growing political influence and social control wielded by vigilantes in the hinterlands. The Burkinabe political class should properly deal with the country’s simmering vigilante problem as it not only carries the seeds of electoral violence but also could pose a threat to the country’s nascent democracy.
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