Grand Imam Souaibou Cissé was found assassinated in Tiléré (Soum province) on Saturday morning, August 15, having been abducted by unidentified gunmen on Tuesday, August 11, between Namssiguia (Bam province) and Gaskindé (Soum province) on the Kongoussi-Djibo axis.
Reports indicate that Souaibou Cissé was traveling back to Djibo (Soum province) from Ouagadougou on a bus which was intercepted by an armed group. The assailants reportedly began searching passengers and checking their identities, before kidnapping Cissé and allowing the remainder to continue their journeys. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and subsequent assassination.
Demonstrations denouncing the incident are possible in Soum and other areas in the coming days. Further kidnappings are likely in Burkina Faso in the near term.
Cissé, who was 73 years old at the time of dying, was president of the Muslim community of Djibo, as was reportedly a figurehead in the resistance against terrorism in the region.
Terrorism has become an increasingly severe security threat in Burkina Faso since 2015. Educational institutions, local government officials, and security forces are especially targeted. Initially concentrated in the Sahel region, attacks have spread to other regions. Attacks are usually attributed to Ansarul Islam and other groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Those in Burkina Faso are advised to monitor developments relating to the security situation and associated emergency measures (e.g. curfews, state of emergency orders) and remain vigilant for criminal and militant activity.
Due to 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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