According to a Burkinabe military spokesperson, 202 people were arrested during a joint security operation from May 15 to 18 in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Benin, and Togo. According to local sources, the security operation targeted criminal groups and terrorist organizations. At least 95 people were arrested in Togo, 52 in Burkina Faso, 42 in Benin, and 13 in Ghana. In addition, large quantities of weapons and explosives were reportedly seized. Security operations are likely to continue in the abovementioned countries over the coming weeks.
Terrorism has become an increasingly serious security threat in West Africa, especially in the Sahel region, since 2015. Attacks are usually attributed to Ansarul Islam and other groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Due to the underlying terrorist and kidnapping threats prevalent in the region, individuals are advised to remain discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times (especially in local markets, now used by terrorists as recruitment grounds), and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.
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