On Friday, December 27, the Burkinabe government declared the prolongation of the ongoing state of emergency for 14 provinces across the country. The extension entered into effect on Monday, January 13, and will remain in place until Tuesday, January 12, 2021.
The existing state of emergency is in effect for areas of the country's border regions, including:
- 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
The order restricts freedom of movement, allows for curfews and the confiscation of weapons, authorizes the search of personal property at any time, and limits publications or statements in support of extremism.
The state of emergency was initially implemented on January 1, 2019, following an attack on security forces in Toéni (Sourou province; Boucle du Mouhoun region) killing ten gendarmes. Attacks have continued since then in the border areas.
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 relating to the security situation, obey local regulations (e.g. 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.