Burkina Faso: NOV 2018 SITREP 

  • November followed recent trend as acts of violence and intimidation by suspected militant groups Ansaroul Islam and Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) continued, if not increased, in Est and Sahel Regions. However this is based on assumptions and modes of operations since no attacks exclusively claimed by both groups. In Fada N’Gourma, Est Region local population staged protests and expressed support and backings to security forces on 02 November. On 08-09 November General Oumarou Sadou visited Fada N’Gourma, Est Region capital and met with administrative authorities and security forces based in the area. He also visited brigades based in Foutouri, Pama, and Kompienga, towns previously been under militants threats.
  • Since September 18, 2018, a curfew prohibits the movement of motorcycles from 7 pm to 5 am in the Est Region. The circulation of other vehicles is subject to strict controls.
  • On 01 November, prison guards on strike raided Minister of Justice residence. The government decided on November 14 the dismissal of the ranks of 10 members of the Prison Security Guard unit behind the raid, and suspended the activities of their union office.
  • On 14 November teachers’ unions suspended classes across Loroum Province, Nord Region after physical beating and abuse of teachers at Toulfé two days earlier. On 19 November another school announced its closure following threats received from militant groups at Kodjena village, Gnagna Province, Est Region.
  • On 13 November at least 10 bodies recovered after landslide at Basnéré, Soum Province, Sahel Region. Similar tragedy occurred at Kabonga between Fada and Pama, Est Region three weeks earlier where 50 to 100 people gone missing. Security forces reportedly hesitated to assist in fear of militants attacks. Another landslide recorded on 08 November at the gold mining site of Bontioli, Sud-Ouest Region where at least 10 people died.
  • On 19 November Human Rights Watch (HRW) claimed to have been informed about the execution of 14 men detained at Gassel Liddji by Burkinabe Army in Soum Province, Sahel Region. Regional NGO Kisal also claimed that in the same week a total of 38 civilians have been allegedly executed in Soum Province and Burkinabe forces suspected to be behind it. On 22 November, NGO Kisal reported the execution of another 7 suspects arrested by security forces.
  • Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Burkina Faso launched on November 15 to November 22 a joint security operation called Koudanlgou II in the southern and western areas of Burkina Faso to crackdown transnational crimes, including terrorism, smuggling, and drugs trafficking. 150 suspects arrested while vehicles, arms, ammunition, drugs, and motorcycles seized.

Going forward: Violence and intimidation acts highly likely to continue against mining companies escorts and personnel, and civil servants in Est and Sahel Regions. Militant groups are aware of the importance of gold mining to the state and its international partners. Civil servants, notably teachers will become further reluctant to return to their posts in regions (Est and Sahel Regions) under constant threats by militant groups. Following recent success there is strong possibility to see expansion of similar acts to other regions of the country. In addition to Est and Sahel Regions, acts of intimidation against teachers observed by Sahel MeMo at least in Nord Region.

Burkina Faso SITREP and Chronology of Security Incidents for November 2018