On Sunday, March 17, unidentified armed men kidnapped a priest near the village of Sergosoma (Soum provice). As of Tuesday, March 18, the identity of the assailants, as well as the whereabouts of the kidnapped priest remain unknown. Further such incidents are likely in the coming days.
Terrorism has become an increasing security threat in Burkina Faso since 2015. Educational institutions, local government officials, and security forces have been specifically targeted. Initially concentrated in the Sahel region in the north of the country, activity has since spread to other regions. Attacks are most frequently attributed to Ansarul Islam and other groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). On Tuesday, January 1, 2019, the government declared a state of emergency for the country's border regions, to be in effect for six months.
Individuals in Burkina Faso are advised to monitor developments to the security situation and applicable regulations (e.g. state of emergency orders) and remain vigilant of criminal and militant activity. Due to severe risk of terrorism and kidnapping, individuals present in Burkina Faso - including the capital Ouagadougou - are strongly advised to use discretion regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer