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Miror of a state failure

About the project

In Burkina Faso, self-defense groups composed by regular citizens have been emerging for the past few years in a climate of insecurity never seen before, criminality rate being especially high in the countryside. At first allies of the government as « informants », the Kogleweogo expanded almost all over the country, armed themselves and gained in power as the population approved of their actions : criminality has decreased and people feel more safe. This is of great importance in a region of farmers and small shopkeepers who were afraid to commit to their duties and insure the security of their families.

Even though they pretend to defend the population and ease the security forces’ work, the « Bush keepers » do it illegally and are beyond the control of the authorities. They are criticized by a fringe of the civil society, human rights defenders, lawyers who denounce violences, corporal punishments, violations of human rights and challenges of the authority of the state, incapable of undertaking its responsibilities.

Are the Koglweogo a problem or a solution ? Do these evolutions threaten the stability of the « Land of honest men » ?

Olivier Papegnies and Valentine Van Vyve went to Burkina Faso last October and wish to go back in order to fulfill their work and give you a better sense of what is happening.

What are the funds for?

About the project owner

Olivier and Valentine regularly collaborate for the Belgian press. This is however their first large investigation together.

​Olivier Papegnies

Olivier is a photojournalist based in Brussels and a member of Huma. His work is published both in the Belgian and in the international media. He collaborates with La Libre Belgique, Le Monde and different NGO's such as Médecins du Monde and Handicap International. 

He was awarded with the "Prix special du jury" in the Scoop and journalism festival in Angers for his work on the Orange Agent in Vietnam “Apocaplypse Children”, the "prix Belfius" in 2010 for best press picture in Belgium, the Nikon Press Photo Award in 2011 for his work on the hearthquake in Haïti and the "Prix du journalisme du Parlement Wallonie-Bruxelles" in 2012 for his work "Fous d'Amour" on mental handicap and love. 
In 2015, he recieved fundings from the Fonds pour le journalisme in order to work on the christian community in Lebanon. He focusses on Human issues : handicap, environment, people with weaknesses are his main concern.

Valentine Van Vyve

Freelance journalist for newspapers and magazines for a little less than 10 years, Valentine has also a strong interest for the Human, especially when he shows resiliency in situations of fragility.

Her deep interest for the Middle East lead her to work in Lebanon and Jordan as well as to live in the West bank (Ramallah) and Egypt (Cairo). Her curiosity for Africa lead her to write stories in Rwanda and Burundi. In Senegal, she investigated on human rights issues thanks to fundings from the Fonds pour le journalisme (June 2015). She also cares for issues related to education, development and international solidarity.

Valentine mainly works for the daily paper La Libre Belgique. She writes for the pages « Inspire », dedicated to what is being called « journalism of solutions ».

Twitter : @VyveVal

If you wish to follow the evolution of the project on the social medias, keep yourself informed on our Facebook page !