Burkina Faso Security Outlook for January

Each month as part of Castor Vali’s Burkina Faso Security Information Service, we provide a look ahead to what we believe will be the main security issues in the coming month. 

Burkina Faso Security Information Services.  Image of memorial martyrs towers monument

January’s Burkina Faso security outlook highlighted:

Continued abuses against civilians

Numerous abuses against civilians took place in 2020. Both terrorist groups and security forces in Burkina Faso perpetrated the abuses. Despite warnings from the international community and global watchdogs, the Burkinabe government has failed to address this issue. Such incidents we expect to continue in 2021, exacerbating an already dire security situation in the country.

Calls for gradual withdrawal of foreign forces

President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré resumed office following elections in November. During the elections he ran on a platform to improve security in the country. Since November his defence policy appears unchanged from the one adopted over the last five years. Moreover, the death of five French soldiers in Mali as part of Operation Barkhane (which covers Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad) in December, threatens to add to calls for a gradual withdrawal of the already small number of foreign forces supporting the G5 Sahel.

Attacks to resume along the Ivory Coast

It is highly likely that following relative recent peace along Burkina Faso’s southern borders, particularly the border with the Ivory Coast, attacks will resume in 2021. The “kick-off attack” on the border area of Kodiénou is likely to provoke the establishment of a new joint operation between the Ivory Coast’s Armed Forces and the Burkina Faso Armed Forces.

Continued threat of terrorism

While no major attack was reported over New Year’s, given the presence, intent and capabilities of militant groups the threat of terrorism remains in Burkina Faso. These groups typically target security forces and government assets but have been known to target individuals in public places and businesses as well. Common tactics employed in such attacks include explosive devices, bombings, armed assaults and kidnappings. Incidents remain concentrated in the northern and eastern areas of the country.

Explore Castor Vali’s Burkina Faso Security Information Services

The Burkina Faso Security Report covers the following areas in each edition:

  1. month in review,
  2. significant incidents
  3. mapping of terrorism-related events
  4. month in statistics
  5. strategic developments
  6. month in pictures
  7. foreign government travel advice
  8. security advice in the COVID-19 environment

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