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Overseas Security Advisory Council
Bureau of Diplomatic Security
U.S. Department of State

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Level 4: Do not travel

Travel Advisory: Burkina Faso - Level 4 (Do Not Travel)

Do not travel to Burkina Faso due to terrorism, crime, and kidnapping

Country Summary: 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.

Kidnapping and hostage taking is a threat throughout the country.  On May 10, 2019 a hostage rescue operation freed four international hostages that had been kidnapped in Burkina Faso and in neighboring Benin.   

The Government of Burkina Faso has maintained 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.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens throughout most of the country, as U.S. government personnel are restricted from travelling to regions outside the capitol due to security concerns. 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.

On November 26, 2019, the Department ordered the departure of all minor family members of U.S. government employees, and the voluntary departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and their family members.

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.

Visit our website for more information on travel to high-risk areas.

Last Update:  Reissued after periodic review with updates to Travel Advisory Level, Ordered/Authorized Departure status of U.S. government personnel, U.S. government restrictions on personnel, and information on recent terrorist attacks.

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