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21 Jan 2020 | 10:16 PM UTC

Burkina Faso: Curfew extended in Sahel region January 19 – March 3 /update 3

Governor of Sahel region extends overnight curfew from January 19 to March 3; heightened security presence expected

security
transportation
BFA

Event

On Friday, January 17, the governor of the Sahel region issued a decree extending overnight curfews for 45 days until March 3. Under the extension, curfew hours in the region are from 18:00 until 06:00 (local time) except in certain cities and towns. In Séno province, restrictions are in place from 23:00 to 04:30 in Bani and Seytenga and from 22:00 to 05:00 in Sampelga and Falagountou. Curfew hours in Soum province for Djibo are from 19:00 to 05:30 and in Gorom-Gorom from 21:00 to 05:30. In Yagha province, the curfew is in place from 20:00 to 05:30 in Boundoré, Mansila, Sebba, Solhan, Tankougounadié, and Titabé.

During this period, restrictions to people's movement will be implemented, and the circulation of four-wheeled vehicles, two-wheelers, tricycles, and bicycles will be strictly forbidden. Ambulance traffic will be subject to a "laissez-passer", or a mission order.

A heightened security presence is expected in the Sahel region in the coming weeks. Attacks conducted by militant are possible in the area. Further extensions to the curfew cannot be ruled out. 

Context

Burkina Faso declared a state of emergency for the country's border regions 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 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).

Advice

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 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.