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21 Apr 2020 | 12:47 AM UTC

Burkina Faso: Security forces allegedly execute detainees in Djibo April 9

Burkinabe security forces allegedly executed detainees in Djibo on April 9; increased security presence and violence possible

security
BFA

Event

According to reports from Human Rights Watch from Monday, April 20, Burkinabe security forces allegedly detained and then executed 31 unarmed men in sector 7 of Djibo on Thursday, April 9. The incident took place during a counterinsurgency operation. The victims came from the Fulani ethnic group, which has been accused by other communities in the past of supporting the insurgency. An increased security presence is likely while investigations are carried out; retaliatory attacks are possible in the short term.

Context

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 to the 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, travelers 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.