As of Wednesday, October 16, overnight curfews have been declared in the Sahel, Nord, and Centre-Nord regions. The curfews are scheduled to begin on Monday, October 21, and last for at least 45 days. According to media reports, curfew hours vary by province, with some starting at 20:00 or 21:00 (local time) until 05:00. Heightened security measures will be in place, including restrictions on the use of four-wheeled vehicles, two-wheelers, tricycles, and bicycles. In Nord region, only ambulances are allowed to travel during curfew hours as long as drivers can present a "laissez-passer" or mission order.
Officials declared the curfew following recent terrorist attacks throughout the northern regions in recent months. A heightened security presence and an increase in operations targeting suspected terrorist group are anticipated in the near term. Further attacks are also possible.
Burkina Faso declared a state of emergency for the country's border regions, including Est region, on January 1.
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 in Burkina Faso are advised to monitor developments to the security situation, obey local regulations (e.g. state of emergency orders), 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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