Official Travel Advice for Burkina Faso
Terrorism section - details of recent attacks in Soum and Koulpélogo Provinces
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Advice current as at 4:00 am 22 May 2019.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:
- all areas of the country north of the town of Boulsa
- within 40km of the western border with Mali
- Sahel and Est regions (including the W and Arly National Parks and their contiguous reserves and hunting areas)
- Koulpélogo province in Centre-Est region
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of Burkina Faso, including the capital Ouagadougou.
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Burkina Faso, including Ouagadougou.
On 31 December 2018, the President of Burkina Faso declared a partial state of emergency covering the whole of the Est and Sahel regions, the western provinces of Kossi and Sourou, the central-eastern province of Koulpélogo, the western province of Kénédougou and northern province of Lorum. This followed a terrorist attack in Sourou province on 27 December, which killed 10 gendarmes. The measure gives security forces extra powers to search homes and restrict freedom of movement. The state of emergency was extended on 11 January by Parliament for a further 6 months.
In March 2018, a terrorist attack took place on the French Embassy and the Army Headquarters in Ouagadougou. 16 people were killed, including 8 attackers, and 80 people injured. In May 2018, a shootout occurred on the outskirts of the city between security forces and terrorists suspected of being linked to March attack.
In August 2017, gunmen attacked the Aziz Istanbul restaurant in Ouagadougou. In January 2016, there was a terrorist attack against a hotel and café in central Ouagadougou. Further attacks are possible. You should exercise particular caution around religious holidays.
There have also been regular attacks on Burkinabe security forces. On 28 August, 7 members of the security forces were killed after their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb near Fada N’Gourma in the Eastern Region. There have also been recent attacks on police and military personnel close to the borders with Mali, Niger and Cote d’Ivoire. You should take extra care and follow the instructions of the security authorities.
There’s also a risk that terrorist groups may cross the border from Mali and the northern border with Niger into Burkina Faso to carry out kidnap attacks. See Terrorism
UK health authorities have classified Burkina Faso as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. Consular support is limited in Burkina Faso. The Honorary Consul in Burkina Faso can offer limited consular assistance. British nationals should contact the British High Commission Accra in Ghana who can provide consular support.
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.
Quick Facts Tourist Information for:Burkina Faso
Drive on the: right
Visitors/Tourists: 238,000 in 2011
French (official language) 22%