On Friday, February 1, Burkina Faso's security ministry advised local and foreign mining companies operating within the country to take increased security measures over terrorism and kidnapping threats. The minister advised companies to avoid advanced or remote posts in Sahel and Est regions and ensure adequate security measures are in place, particularly regarding movements between locations. The statement also suggested the possibility of an increased military presence in the vicinity of mining operations.
Militants have targeted mining companies in nine separate attacks since September 2017. In January 2019, militants attacked a mining facility in Yagha province (Sahel region) and kidnapped two foreign nationals, one of whom was later killed. The threat from terrorism and kidnapping remains high in Burkina Faso, particularly in Sahel and Est regions. The government declared a state of emergency for the border regions on January 1 and in effect until June.
Individuals in Burkina Faso are advised to adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, remain vigilant at all times, vary daily schedules and itineraries, refrain from sharing personal information regarding employment or locations on social media or to unknown persons, and report suspicious objects and behaviors to proper authorities. If attacked, remain calm, do not offer any resistance, and adopt a cooperative attitude. Do everything in your power to keep the situation as calm as possible (accept offered food, engage in conversation initiated by your captors, avoid all political or potentially inflammatory topics, do not do anything that would spook your captors, etc.).
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