Report   DETAILS


Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Travel to Northern Border Areas

Africa > Burkina Faso > Ouagadougou

The U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou warns all U.S. citizens against traveling to the northern areas of the country, and to exercise caution when traveling to remote and border areas.  You should also remain vigilant and pay attention to your surroundings at all times when traveling in Burkina Faso.

Kidnapping remains a threat in the northern areas of the country bordering Mali and Niger.  Due to ongoing security concerns in the these areas, the U.S. Embassy deems the area north of the road stretching from Djibo to Dori off-limits to official government travelers unless prior authorization for such travel is expressly given.  There have been no known terrorist incidents (bombings, hijackings, or kidnappings) directed against foreigners in Burkina Faso; however, the al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) terrorist organization and their affiliates could target westerners in the porous border regions of the north, near Mali and Niger.  The Sahel region of Burkina Faso is extremely remote, and the ability of the Government of Burkina Faso and the Embassy to render assistance in the event of an emergency there is limited.

Although the U.S. government places the highest priority on the safe recovery of kidnapped U.S. citizens, it is U.S. policy not to make concessions to kidnappers. 

You are also reminded that incidents of highway banditry continue to occur countrywide.  Although the bandits typically operate at night, there have been daytime attacks.  They have injured or killed individuals who refused their demands or attempted to drive through their roadblocks.  U.S. citizen travelers should avoid all intercity and highway travel at night.

The U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott strongly encourages U.S. citizens who travel to or live in Burkina Faso to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive the most up-to-date security information.  Please keep all of your information in STEP current.  It is important when enrolling or updating information to include multiple phone numbers and email addresses to facilitate communication in the event of an emergency.

U.S. citizens should consult the Country Specific Information sheet for and the Worldwide Caution, both located on the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.  If you don't have internet access, you may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or from other countries on a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou is located in Ouaga 2000, Sector 15, on Avenue Sembene Ousmane, southeast of the Monument aux Heros Nationaux.  Additional local information, including recent warden messages, is available on the Embassy Ouagadougou web site.  For after-hours emergencies, please contact the Embassy’s primary phone number, +226 50 49 53 00, press “1” and ask to speak to the duty officer.