Local officials ordered the temporary closure of mining sites in Est region beginning on Wednesday, March 27. The governor reportedly closed the sites due to the terror threat posed by militant groups and amid expanding military operations in the region. It is not currently clear when the sites will reopen. The mining sites are locating in the following provinces: Tapoa, Gnagna, Komondjari, Kompienga, and Gourma.
Clashes between security forces and militants as well as a heightened security presence are expected in the region in the coming weeks.
Burkina Faso declared a state of emergency for the country's border regions, including Est region, on January 1. A nighttime curfew is also in effect in the region through April 20.
Terrorism has become an increasing security threat in Burkina Faso since 2015. 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.
Individuals in Burkina Faso are advised to monitor developments to the security situation in the north of the country, adhere to local regulations (e.g. state of emergency declarations), and remain vigilant for criminal and militant activity.
Due to the severe 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, and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.
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