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07 Jan 2020 | 04:22 AM UTC

Burkina Faso: Ongoing security operation near the border with Côte d’Ivoire January 7

Military forces conduct a security operation near the border with Côte d’Ivoire as of January 7; heightened security measures likely over the coming days

security
BFA

Event

As of Tuesday, January 7, military forces are conducting a security operation near the border with Côte d'Ivoire (southwest), where suspected jihadist militants are known to be in hiding. As part of the operation, several detonations were heard in the Alidougou area on Saturday, January 4.

On a related note, unidentified armed men attacked a police outpost in Ouo (Comoé province, Cascades region), located approximately 50 km (31 mi) from the border with Côte d'Ivoire on Sunday, January 5, resulting in significant material damages.

Similar attacks are possible in southwest Burkina Faso in the near term.

Context

Burkina Faso declared a state of emergency for the country's border regions on January 1, 2019.

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 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.