The Council of Ministers and the President of Burkina Faso have authorized a state of emergency across multiple border regions effective Tuesday, January 1. The order applies to the following provinces:
- Boucle du Mouhoun region: Kossi and Sourou provinces
- Centre-Est region: Koulpélogo province
- Est region: Gnagna, Gourma, Komandjari, Kompienga, and Tapoa provinces
- Hauts-Bassins region: Kénédougou province
- Nord region: Lorum province
- Sahel region: Oudalan, Séno, Soum, and Yagha provinces
According to officials, the order restricts freedom of movement, allows for curfews, authorizes the search of personal property and domiciles at any time, allows for the confiscation of weapons, and restricts the publication of content or statements in support of extremist groups. The government has also banned the publication or disclosure of troop locations and all crimes considered terrorist activities will fall under the jurisdiction of the military court.
The state of emergency order follows an ambush targeting security forces near Toéni (Sourou province; Boucle du Mouhoun region) on December 27 that left ten gendarmes dead and three more wounded. The gendarmes were reportedly responding to an attack on a school in the region. The Al-Qa'ida-linked Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) later claimed responsibility for the attack.
Terrorism has become an increasingly severe security threat in Burkina Faso since 2015. Educational institutions, local government officials, and security forces are specifically targeted. Initially concentrated in the Sahel region, attacks have spread to other regions, including eastern Burkina Faso (Est region) which is also known for high crime rates. Attacks are usually attributed to Ansarul Islam and other groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Individuals present in Burkina Faso are advised to monitor developments to the situation and to remain abreast of local regulations (notably those linked to any states of emergency in effect). Due to 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, and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.
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