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09 Mar 2020 | 10:54 AM UTC

Burkina Faso: Unidentified gunmen kill 43 in Nord region March 8

Unidentified assailants kill at least 43 villagers in Nord region March 8; further attacks possible over the near term

security
BFA

Event

Unidentified gunmen killed at least 43 civilians and wounded six others in raids across Nord region, near the border with Mali, on Sunday, March 8. According to government officials, the attacks targeted the villages of Dinguila and Barga (Yatenga province), both of which are inhabited primarily by Fulani herdsmen. Security forces have been deployed to the affected area in the wake of the assault. As of Monday, March 9, no group has yet to claim responsibility for the attack.

Similar attacks are possible in Nord region over the near term.  

Context

Burkina Faso declared a state of emergency for the country's border regions on January 1, 2019, remaining in effect until January 12, 2021.

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).

Advice

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.