The main national police union threatened to remove its members from conflict zone areas due to a serious lack of material means on Monday, September 23. The union has requested the implementation of at least 20 anti-terrorist units in six regions across the country to quell the growing jihadist threat. If police officers leave the affected areas, attacks are likely to be on the rise across Burkina Faso.
The announcement came as three attacks occurred in northern Burkina between September 19-22, in which at least nine civilians and five soldiers were killed.
Similar attacks in northern Burkina Faso are possible over the coming weeks.
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 typically attributed to Ansarul Islam and other groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). According to media reports, at least 580 people were killed since 2015.
Individuals in Burkina Faso are advised to monitor developments to the security situation in the north of the country 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 regarding 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 report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.
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