Burkina Faso

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Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso was once dominated by several kingdoms of the Mossi people, one of which was defeated by French forces in 1896 and declared a colonial protectorate. Two years later the majority of the territory of the present nation fell under French control; by 1904 the region was incorporated into French West Africa. Between 1915 and 1916, the French defeated armed insurgents in an uprising known as the Volta-Bani War. Subsequently, the territory of the present nation became French Upper Volta (Haute Volta) on March 1, 1919, and the self-governing Republic of Upper Volta in Demember 1958. Two years later full independence was granted.

The first president of Upper Volta was Maurice Yaméogo who, shortly after coming to power, banned all political parties other than his own Voltaic Democratic Union. His government lasted until 1966, when he was deposed in a military coup d'etat which suspended the constitution, dissolved the National Assembly, and placed Lt. Col. Sangoulé Lamizana at the head of a government of senior army officers. A new constitution was ratified in 1970, but Lamizana remained in power as president until November 1980, when he was overthrown in a bloodless coup by Colonel Saye Zerbo. Two years later, Zerbo was himself overthrown by Maj. Dr. Jean-Baptiste Ouédraogo, who only managed to retain power until August 1983, when yet another coup installed former Prime Minister Captain Thomas Sankara as president. The nation changed its name to Burkina Faso (Land of Honest People) under Sankara.

In October 1987, Sankara and twelve other political officials were assassinated in another coup d'état organized by his former colleague, Blaise Compaoré, who has remained in power as president ever since.

Burkina Faso's armed forces include the Army, Air Force, National Gendarmerie, National Police and a People's Militia. In recent years, three US-trained peacekeeping battalions have been deployed to Sudan

Camouflage Patterns of Burkina Faso

  • One of the oldest documented patterns worn in Burkina Faso, and also one of the most unique, is a vertical "dazzle" pattern, which may have been limited in use to a Presidential Guard.


  • Evidence suggests a three-color brushstroke pattern worn also by Iraq and Somalia may have seen limited use by this nation in the 1980s.


  • In use since the 1980s, variations of the French tenue de leópard or lizard camouflage pattern continue to be worn into the present period.

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  • Burkina Faso Air Force personnel training in Germany in the mid-1990s were documented wearing German Army flecktarn camouflage uniforms.


  • More recently, a variation of the tenue de leópard or lizard pattern has been adopted by this nation, having bolder colors but with stripes of less fine detail. Colors are similiar to that found on recent production uniforms worn in Morocco, but it does not appear the pattern is precisely the same.


  • The Gendarmerie Nationale of Burkina Faso wear a leaf pattern camouflage design with a blue-purple colorway, and having the "Gendarmerie Burkina" logo embedded within its design.


  • The brown-orange vertical stripe pattern seen here has appeared in use since 2012, and is worn by regular Army personnel.

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  • First appearing in a peacekeeping unit specially formed for deployment to Mali, this duck hunter camouflage variant is worn by the Burkinabe Presidential Guards.


  • A variation of the vertical stripe pattern seen above is also issued in a desert/arid color palette, and has been observed on Burkinabe troops since 2015.


  • The Mobile Brigade of the Customs Service (Douanes de Burkina Faso) issue a camouflage uniform in the same "grey lizard" camouflage design originally issued in Cuba and later in Angola and Yugoslavia.


  • In 2016, the Gendarmerie Nationale appeared in public wearing a pixelated camouflage design incorporating a blue-grey colorway. This camouflage appears to have replaced the previously worn darker pattern.