On the 3rd of June, the US State Department issued a travel advisory urging people to ‘reconsider travel to Burkina Faso due to terrorism, crime, kidnapping.’ The security situation in Burkina Faso has been deteriorating in recent months, with an increase in the number of terrorist attacks, as well as the abductions of several Westerners.
- Remain aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep an eye out for things that seems suspicious and trust your instincts. If a situation feels wrong, try to leave as quickly and unobtrusively as you can.
- Make sure you have appropriate travel insurance to cover any activities on your trip. If you feel you need added protection, consider buying an additional support package.
- Review your travel risk management plan, so you know exactly what to do in an emergency.
- Make sure you have important contact information stored in a secure offline location.
- Keep your devices charged.
- Check in regularly with friends and family. Agree check in times in advance and set up a plan for what to do if you miss a check in time.
- Be aware that Burkina Faso is a target for terrorist groups operating in the region. There is a kidnap risk in certain areas that you should research further.
- If something does happen, contact the local embassy as soon as it is safe to do so.
Official travel advice
From the US State Department, issued on 3rd June 2019 –
Reconsider travel to Burkina Faso due to terrorism, crime, and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
Do Not Travel to the following regions due to crime, terrorism, and kidnapping:
- The Boucle du Mouhoun Region
- The Cascades Region
- The Centre-Est Region
- The Centre-Nord Region
- The Centre-Ouest Region except Boulkiemde Province
- The Centre-Sud Region
- The Est Region
- The Hauts-Bassins Region
- The Nord Region
- The Sahel Region
- The Sud-Ouest Region
To see a map of these regions, click HERE.
The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the listed regions because U.S. government personnel travel to these areas is restricted.
Do Not Travel to the following parts of the city of Ouagadougou due to terrorism and crime:
- Arrondissement 11: Karpala, Balkiui, and Rayongo (also known as Dayongo) neighborhoods.
Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Burkina Faso. Terrorists may conduct attacks anywhere with little or no warning. Targets could include hotels, restaurants, police stations, customs offices, areas at or near mining sites, places of worship, military posts, and schools.
Burkina Faso experiences attacks throughout the country. On March 7, 2019 the Burkinabe army launched a military operation to combat terrorism in the east of the country that led to the arrest of approximately 100 terrorists. On May 10, Burkinabe security forces launched a counterterrorism operation in Burkina Faso’s northern regions.
The Government of Burkina Faso has declared a state of emergency in the entire East and Sahel regions, the provinces of Kossi and Sourou in the Boucle de Mouhoun region, the province of Kenedougou in the Hauts Bassins region, the province of Loroum in the North region, and the province of Koulpelogo in the Center-East region.
Read the Safety and Security section on the Country Information page.
If you decide to travel to Burkina Faso:
- Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
- Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
- Take steps to mitigate the risk of becoming a victim of violence, including limiting trips to locations frequented by Westerners.
- Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
- Review your personal security plans.
- Remain aware of your surroundings and local events.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for Burkina Faso.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Certain neighborhoods of Ouagadougou
The U.S. Embassy prohibits U.S. government personnel from personal travel to the Karpala, Balkiui and Rayongo (also known as Dayongo) neighborhoods of Ouagadougou’s Arrondissement 11 Due to the potential for security operations.
Visit our website for more information on travel to high-risk areas.
Please click through here for the rest of the advisory, including contact information.
Further news and information
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