By Barbara Crown, Editor-in-Chief
On Aug. 13, terrorists attacked a popular Turkish cafe in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, killing 16 people. Two gunmen armed with AK-47s barricaded themselves and more than 40 people inside the restaurant around 9 pm and fought with National Police until 5 am the next day. Both assailants were killed, and 22 people were injured in the incident.
The attack took place a little more than a month after the US State Department issued a travel warning against Burkina Faso on June 7, 2017. The warning states that attacks are possible anywhere in the country and recommends avoiding travel to the northern part of the Sahel region. Due to attacks throughout that area, US Embassy personnel are restricted from travel to Dori and Djibo, the road connecting them, and all areas north of that road. Personnel traveling to or staying at Parc National du W (Parc W) must arrange armed escort with Burkina Faso security forces. US citizens are encouraged to do the same. Parc National du W is very close to the Arly, Singou and Oumaou hunting areas.
After the incident at the restaurant, we checked with the security operations team at Ripcord for a security assessment for Hunting Report
subscribers. In a separate email we were told, "The situation is indeed intensifying. The majority of these attacks are in the Sahel region to the north of the country and many go unreported as they are usually targeting small villages for recruitment. It is hard to weigh the risks of one group versus another as the attacks are unpredictable and varied. The threat of kidnapping is targeted toward Western visitors of all nationalities in all locations."
Here is Ripcord's complete security assessment as of Aug. 18, 2017...