Burkina Faso mining lost $1 billion to graft in decade: parliament (Reuters U.S. – October 26, 2016)


Burkina Faso lost nearly a billion dollars to corruption and mismanagement in the mining sector in the decade leading up to the fall of Blaise Compaore and the year after he was forced out, according to a parliamentary inquiry.

The committee announced its findings late on Tuesday after a three-month investigation and called for charges to be brought against three ex-ministers as well as the former president’s brother, Francois Compaore.

None of the ex-officials named in the report, who are living in exile in neighboring Ivory Coast, could be reached for comment. The committee’s head Ousseni Tamboura said about 551 billion CFA francs ($920 million) was lost between 2005 and 2015.

Former president Blaise Compaore ruled the West African nation for nearly 30 years before being forced out of power in 2014 when protesters took to the streets to demand he step down.

After his fall, Burkina Faso’s new authorities vowed to battle corruption and arrested several former ministers in 2015, but graft has proved difficult to stamp out. “The losses are essentially due to bad governance of the sector, bad management, and the appropriation of the mining economy for self-serving interests,” Tamboura said.

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