News Alerts

04 Oct 2018 | 02:54 PM UTC

Burkina Faso: Attacks in the north and the east October 3-4

Burkina Faso News Alert

Armed militants launch two separate attacks in the north and east October 3-4; additional attacks possible in the coming days

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/4/2018, 12:00 AM until 10/5/2018, 11:59 PM (Africa/Ouagadougou). COUNTRY/REGION Gayéri, Soum province

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Event

On Thursday, October 4, a military convoy traveling to Foutouri from Fada N'Gourma hit a landmine near Gayéri (Komondjari province, Est region), killing at least six soldiers and injuring one.

Furthermore, at least 40 unidentified armed men attacked a gendarmerie post in Inata (Soum province, Sahel region) on the evening (local time) of Wednesday, October 3, killing one gendarme, injuring another, and causing significant material damages.

Additional attacks on local officials and security forces are possible in the coming days.

Context

Terrorism has become an increasingly serious security threat in Burkina Faso, especially in the northern Sahel region, since 2015. Educational institutions, officials, and security forces are particularly targeted. Initially concentrated in the Sahel region, attacks have spread to other regions, including eastern Burkina Faso which is also known for significant criminal activities. Attacks are usually attributed to Ansarul Islam and other groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Meanwhile, rates of criminal violence - much of which is interlinked with terrorist activity - have also recently increased. According to an official account released in mid-September, jihadist attacks have killed at least 118 people since 2015. Furthermore, at least 22 attacks were recorded in the Est region since February 2018.

Recently, three workers at the Inata gold mine were kidnapped while traveling to Djibo (Sahel region) on September 23.

Advice

Due to the serious threats of terrorism and kidnapping, individuals present in Burkina Faso - including the capital Ouagadougou - are strongly advised to be 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. A number of Western governments advise against all travel to areas within 50 km (30 mi) of the Malian border above the Dori-Niangoloko line. Nonessential travel to areas north of the line running from Niangoloko (west) to Pama (east) is also advised against due to unstable security conditions.

 

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