BURKINA FASO (Africa) - Edith Blais, 34 & Luca Tacchetto, 30, Canada & Italy tourists, 15 Dec 2018

Discussion in 'Missing Persons Discussion' started by cybervampira, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. cybervampira

    cybervampira Well-Known Member

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    Sherbrooke woman goes missing after travelling in Burkina Faso | CBC News

    The family of a 34-year-old Quebec woman travelling in West Africa fears for her safety after not hearing from her for three weeks.

    Edith Blais left her home of Sherbrooke, Que. last year, most recently travelling to Burkina Faso. She is travelling with an Italian man she met in Canada, according to a Facebook page set up by Blais's family.

    Blais and Luca Tacchetto, 30, were last heard from in the Burkina Faso city of Bobo-Dioulasso on Dec. 15. They were planning on driving to the capital of Ouagadougou, where they intended to stay for a few days and possibly sell their car before heading to neighbouring Togo.

    They were expected in Togo, where they were going to work on a reforestation project, before Christmas.

    "They never crossed the border or applied for a visa from Burkina Faso to Togo," says a post on the Facebook page.

    upload_2019-1-5_14-47-41.jpeg

    Burkina Faso, scomparso un 30enne italiano: era in viaggio con un'amica - Tgcom24

    Edith Blais et Luca Tacchetto : disparition au Burkina Faso
     
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  2. ZaZara

    ZaZara Well-Known Member

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    Il mistero di Luca ed Edith scomparsi tre settimane fa in Burkina Faso

    The mystery of Luca Tacchetto and Edith Blais, who disappeared three weeks ago in Burkina Faso

    The journey from Veneto to Togo, the social networks, dinner with your friend. Then the silence. His father: "On 15 December my son called around midnight. He told me he was at a French friend's house. That was the last time we heard from him".


    [​IMG]

    The last photo he sent to a family member's cell phone. He had taken it a few minutes earlier, in the home of a French friend who lives in Bobo-Dioulasso, the second largest city in Burkina Faso. It was the evening of 15 December. And since then, Luca Tacchetto from Padua and his traveling companion, the Canadian Edith Blais, have been missing without a trace. They disappeared into thin air in a country considered at risk because of the presence of jihadists and bandits, and that only this week saw the death of 46 people, in the village of Yirgou, because of the clashes following a terrorist attack.


    Yet Bobo-Dioulasso is considered a less dangerous area than other regions of Burkina Faso, even if it is impossible, at least for now, to know what is the fate of the Paduan and his friend. For sure, no ransom demand has been made.

    Tacchetto is an architect from Vigonza, the son of Nunzio, the former mayor of the Paduan town. A young man used to travelling, who has studied and worked abroad. And it was during an Erasmus period that he met Edith Blais, 34 years old. "We hosted her for about twenty days - says Luca's father - while she was undergoing all vaccinations. Then, on 20 November, the day after his thirtieth birthday, Luca left with her". The destination was Togo, where they were waiting for him to collaborate, as a volunteer, in the construction of a village. But he and Edith had decided to transform that commitment into a long cross-country trip on the road. "They left by car - continues Nunzio Tacchetto - stopping to greet foreign friends met in recent years. They stopped in France, Spain, Morocco, Mauritania and Mali. On December 15th they arrived in Burkina Faso". The beautiful images published by Edith on Facebook stop at that date. They tell of ancient ruins, nights in the savannah, shepherds, camels and romantic bonfires under the stars. Always together, she and Luca, always smiling. Two grown ups used to mixing with people from different cultures and traditions.

    "On December 15 my son called around midnight. He told me he was in Bobo-Dioulasso, at the home of a French friend who married a local girl. They were having dinner, it seemed quiet. That was the last time we heard from him. Sources from the Farnesina assure us that the Italian Embassy in Abidjan intervened to push the local authorities to activate the search. So far there are no reports that they have been involved in incidents or that they have been arrested, nor have there been any claims from criminal groups. They have simply disappeared into thin air. Their car, a blue Megane Scenic, was also not found. Nor has the French friend with whom they spent the evening, who appears in the last selfie taken by Edith, been identified. "I don't know his name or even what to think - concludes Luca's father - I just hope that Luca and his friend are alive".

    Meanwhile, Edith's mother, Jocelyne Bergeron, told the Canadian newspaper Le Soleil that her daughter and Tacchetto "had had difficulty obtaining a visa" to enter the African country. "I spoke to the man who was supposed to take them to Togo. He told me that, in the past, one of his volunteers had been arrested and detained by the Burkina Faso police, without allowing him any contact with the outside world. How do we monitor this kind of information?" the worried mother asks. "I know they had difficulty obtaining visas to enter the country. Did they have a visa problem? I'm clinging a little to this explanation. Another element of concern, mentioned by the woman, concerns a few days before their disappearance. "They would have picked up a man who was hitchhiking, is there a connection? They had problems with the police because of him?". Canada, like the Farnesina, activated all the channels in Burkina Faso and an investigation was opened by Interpol.


    BBM


    Not looking good.
     
  3. ZaZara

    ZaZara Well-Known Member

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  4. ZaZara

    ZaZara Well-Known Member

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    Burkina Faso, Luca Tacchetto sparito. Il mistero dell’ultima foto

    In the last selfie, they're sitting around a table. Two beers, the remains of the dinner that just ended. And that "vaulted" roof that covers the entire room and that, according to those who live there, is rather rare to find in the homes of Bobo-Dioulasso, the second largest city in Burkina Faso.

    Luca Tacchetto smiles at the lens and his Canadian friend Edith Blais holds the camera next to him. Opposite, the landlord (a mysterious French friend) and his wife are sitting. These two spouses are the last people to have seen the two friends. But so far, no one has been able to identify them, let alone track them down.

    That photo was taken on the evening of 15 December and a few minutes later Luca sent it to his family in Vigonza. But today we know that after dinner Luca and his Canadian friend spent the evening in a club to attend a concert. This adds a new element to the reconstruction of the movements of Luca Tacchetto and his Canadian friend Edith Blais, on the evening of December 15, the last day since his family, in Vigonza, had news of him.

    The short video shot by Luca between 11pm and midnight shows what they did after dinner: they all went to a famous club in Bobo.

    In the images you can see Edith but also the French friend, who has not yet been identified. The video opens up new questions: did the Paduan architect meet anyone in the venue? And where did they go after the concert? And, again, is it possible that the mysterious Frenchman no longer tried to get in touch with the two tourists after sharing the evening with them?

    Burkina Faso is a destination to avoid according to the site Viaggiare Sicuri - managed by the Farnesina - because of the risk of terrorist acts, kidnappings and the continuous acts of banditry.

    Link to the video:

    Burkina Faso, l’ultimo video di Luca Tacchetto


    BBM
     
  5. Elainera

    Elainera Well-Known Member

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    That sounds very worrying.

    I wonder where they were planning to sleep that night. Did they have a hotel room?
     
  6. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Sherbrooke woman and Italian boyfriend missing in Burkina Faso
    "She says there has been no financial activity in her sister’s bank account and it’s unusual for her to be out of touch with her family for more than a few days."

    "Global Affairs Canada says consular officials are reaching out to local authorities in Burkina Faso to follow up on reports of a missing Canadian."
    he Canadian government warns people to avoid all non-essential travel to that country, especially near the border with Mali, Benin and Togo because of terrorism and kidnapping threats."

    "Posting on Blais’ Facebook page, an Italian man wrote that he’d been in touch with a tourist guide who is trying to track the couple. The man, who says he’s a friend of Tacchetto, is in contact with Blais’s mother."
     
  7. ZaZara

    ZaZara Well-Known Member

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    Québécoise disparue au Burkina Faso : « On ne dort pratiquement pas », dit sa mère

    Woman from Québec missing in Burkina Fasso: "We hardly sleep," her mother says.

    Without news of her since December 15, the family of Edith Blais, travelling in Africa, is worried about her safety.

    After travelling to Mali and Burkina Faso, the 34-year-old Sherbrooke native was to participate in a reforestation project in Togo with her travelling companion, a 30-year-old Italian friend. They were supposed to join Zion'Gaïa between December 15 and 20, but the director of the organization did not hear from them either.

    Jocelyne Bergeron, Edith Blais' mother, last spoke to her daughter on December 13. She was at that time in Bamako, the capital of Mali, waiting for her visa to travel to Burkina Faso.

    On December 15, Edith Blais posted photos of her trip on Facebook, and her boyfriend's parents, Lucas, spoke to their son that day. The two travellers were then in Burkina Faso.

    In addition, according to information received from people there, but not confirmed, Edith Blais was seen on December 21 in Bobo-Dioulasso, the second largest city in Burkina Faso, apparently with a nun.


    The travelling duo had to leave Bobo-Dioulasso for the capital, Ouagadougou, and stay there for a few days. They "would never have crossed the border or applied for a visa from Burkina Faso to Togo," according to the Facebook page created by Edith Blais' relatives to help find her.

    Edith Blais' mother and sister are currently in contact with many people in Burkina Faso who are trying to find information about the two missing persons.

    Many Quebeckers who know the Sherbrooke woman have asked for help from people they know who are in this African country. Lucas Tacchetto's Italian friends did the same.

    "We have a lot of people helping us, it's incredible. People are sending us messages. Because we have put a page of wanted notices on it, and people are writing to us from there saying they are looking on our behalf," said Jocelyne Bergeron, in an interview with RDI Matin Matin week-end.

    "It's going so fast right now. In the last 24 hours, we've hardly slept at all. We are in contact with a lot of people who offer us help. We have to answer, we have to be there, and I guess in a day or two we should have more information about what's going on," she continued.


    Patrick Gagnon, a Canadian entrepreneur who has lived in Burkina Faso for seven years and who read the news of his disappearance in the newspaper, has decided to put his contacts at the service of the family.

    In addition to informing "some friends in police stations, among other things, some political connections", Mr. Gagnon travelled across the border of Ghana and Togo to check if the two travellers had passed through there. The answer is no.

    "They don't seem to have crossed the border, at least not legally, because they are not listed there," he said in an interview with Radio-Canada.

    Patrick Gagnon also says he is "organizing communications in the media, so that it can be published in all the media in Burkina Faso" and trying to distribute as much as possible the photo of Edith Blais.

    Mr. Gagnon promises a reward for "relevant information that would make it possible to find them".

    "Here, if we want things to move forward, there is always a financial aspect to it. So me and my wife decided to contribute a little. We will be able to contribute up to 1 million CFA francs, which may represent $2,500."


    "The Italian authorities, who issued the alert, are also involved in intensive searches, which is not the case in Ottawa," says Jocelyne Bergeron.

    "They called me on December 20 to tell me that the Italians had issued an alert. But they have no news. It's completely flat, it doesn't move. I really didn't get any information from them. Everything we find, we find by ourselves or by the people who help us, and especially by the Italians," she notes.

    Jocelyne Bergeron says she calls World Affairs Canada every two days to ask them where they stand in their investigation, and that she is the one who suggests the steps they should take.

    "I ask them if they did this, if they did that, they tell me it would be a good idea... I feel completely neglected by the department," she says.

    A spokesperson for World Affairs Canada confirmed Edith Blais' disappearance on Saturday morning, saying that Ottawa was in contact with African authorities to gather more information and that "consular assistance" was being provided to her family.

    Reacting to her Twiter account, Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development, said that teams are working in the field to collect the information "in close collaboration with the Burkina Faso authorities".

    On its website, the Canadian Ministry advises tourists to avoid non-essential travel to this part of Africa, particularly "because of the risk of banditry and kidnapping".

    "Illegal roadblocks and incidents of road piracy have been reported," it says. "Armed bandits do not hesitate to shoot to stop vehicles in order to rob their occupants."

    The warning also states that the border areas with Niger, Togo, Benin and Mali are at risk from terrorist attacks.


    These government observations are confirmed by contractor Patrick Gagnon.

    "The atmosphere has become more tense in the last two years. There is a lot of terrorism, especially outside the big cities. It's a little dangerous to walk around the country," he says.


    BBM
     
  8. ZaZara

    ZaZara Well-Known Member

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    Luca Tacchetto e Edith Blais sono spariti: le ultime notizie

    Were Luca and Edith kidnapped? The fears for the two missing young people are growing

    A Canadian businessman announces a reward for those who will provide information to find the two young people of whom there is no news since December 15 last year. "They were in a border area between Burkina Faso and Togo, an area a little 'at risk'.

    A Canadian citizen, originally from Quebec but resident for seven years in Burkina Faso, has been following in the trail of Luca Tacchetto and Edith Blais, of whom there has been no news since December 15.

    The disappearance of the young man from Padua and his Canadian partner happens a few weeks after the kidnapping of Silvia Romano, the Milanese volunteer who has been missing without a trace since last November 20 when she was kidnapped near Malindi.

    "I went to the border with Togo to see if they had crossed there," entrepreneur Patrick Gagnon says in an interview with the newspaper "Le Soleil" in which he announces a reward for those who will provide information to find Luca and Edith.

    "I knew that they would have been seen at Zimaré, about fifty kilometers from Ouagadougou, around December 22." The couple may have illegally crossed the border between Burkina Faso and Togo, but, according to Gagnon, "that would be surprising."

    "I asked a friend who is a member of parliament in that region to put me in touch with the army brigade commander, the area is becoming an area a little at risk," he admits, stating that it is "possible" that Luca and Edith were kidnapped.

    "With the passing of time and the fact that there has been no banking transaction, everything is very strange. All the trails lead there. They are great travelers, which means that they could have bizarre experiences, I hope so, but it is not normal that they have not given signs of life to the family during the holidays. They are facing an exceptional situation, hopefully not too serious."

    On radio Canada, Gagnon says that he is "organizing the communication, so that the news goes out in all the media of Burkina Faso" and promises a reward for anyone who has "relevant information that allows Edith and Luca to be found."
    "Here, if you want to make things move - he concludes - there is always a financial aspect. So my wife and I decided to contribute a little bit, with about 2,500 dollars."

    Today Sunday, January 6, the most important broadcaster in the country of Central West Africa, dedicates a radio broadcast to the case. Also, a telephone connection is planned with the mother and sister of the young woman who are in Sherbrooke, which is also the city where Édith was born. The intention is make an appeal for them to be found.

    In an interview with a Canadian newspaper "La Tribune", her mother told us that it had already happened in the past that she hadn't heard her for a few days during her numerous trips over the years, but never for such long periods. Luca Tacchetto from Padua, on the other hand, never fails, usually, to pass on his news. They are both experienced travellers, certainly not inexperienced people.


    BBM
     
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  9. Mercedes

    Mercedes Verified Lawyer

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    Very interesting! Prayers they are found.
     
  10. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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  11. ZaZara

    ZaZara Well-Known Member

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    I was under the impression that Silvia Romano had been kidnapped in the same region. Then I looked up 'Malindi'. Malindi is a town in Kenya, on the Indian Ocean.
    The distance from Ouagadougou to Malindi is over 6600 kms. You have to cross the entire African continent from West to East. (For comparison: the distance from Los Angeles CA to New York is 4500 kms.)

    IMHO, there is no connection.
     
  12. ZaZara

    ZaZara Well-Known Member

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  13. ZaZara

    ZaZara Well-Known Member

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    Il filmato nel locale africano, poi sono scomparsi nel nulla

    A 12" video with dark images: In these hours of anguish Nunzio Tacchetto continues to watch it, it represents the last real trace of his son Luca in Burkina Faso, before his tracks were lost in nowhere. It was shot on the evening of December 15 and sent via WhatsApp to the family group. We are at the Le Bois d'Ébène restaurant in the centre of Bobo Dioulasso, the second largest city in the country. Behind the camera is Luca Tacchetto, 30, architect from Padua who embarked on his dream journey last November 20: ten thousand kilometers driving an old Megane Scenic, starting from Veneto and heading for Togo. At his side his Canadian girlfriend Edith Blais, cook for profession and painter for pleasure, 34 years old, whom he met last year during a long trip to North America.

    With them, at that table, on the evening of December 15, there is also a Frenchman and his wife, a local woman, whom they met in Burkina Faso. These are the last people portrayed with the two young people before they disappeared. A band performs on stage. Luca is happy, euphoric, more than ever alive. These are his last recordings before the couple is swallowed up by a mystery that is still unresolved. That's why for the Tacchetto family, in these hours of apprehension and disturbing questions, that video is so important.

    The disappearance was informally reported to the Carabinieri a few days after December 15, when the Tacchetto family hoped that it was simply a problem of telephone communication. The report, however, was formalized on December 24. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately took action involving Interpol and the authorities of Burkina Faso, but there are still many dark sides to this matter.
    It is not known where the two friends are and there is no trace of their car. Official communications have never arrived and, in the meantime, the role of the French man with whom Edith and Luca spent that last day remains to be clarified. His name would be Robert and he would have been identified in recent days. The couple met him at the border, were guests at his house and then went with him and his wife to that famous place.

    An interesting testimony, able to insert a further piece in this complicated puzzle, is offered by the Paduan insurer Paolo Rizzi, a close friend of the Tacchetto family. "We created a connection with Burkina Faso through missionaries," he says, "they managed to speak to this French gentleman, Robert, who is known in the city because he has lived there for many years. It seems that he advised the couple to go and visit a beautiful natural park a hundred kilometers from the city of Bobo Dioulasso. For now we can't say anything else - explains the family friend -. We are also waiting."

    "My son is a good boy, alert. He has an open mind, speaks many languages, is physically strong. If a person is able to survive, that person is him. In these hours of waiting, lived constantly with the phone in hand waiting for good news, Nuncio Tacchetto clings to everything. "He has always known how to get by" he sighs, making himself strong, with his eyes lost in the fields.

    But what could have happened after 11.57 p.m. on that damned 15 December? Edith's mother suggests illegal detention by local law enforcement. "The first thing I thought - says Tacchetto instead - is that my son and the girl were kidnapped, but we had no news of any kind. I also got the idea that he was arrested, of course, you never know. Maybe he was harassed, reacted and found himself in trouble. I cling to everything, even that. If we need to pay to get him back, we're ready. But what happened to the car he was driving in?"

    Is it possible that they had gone to a natural park, perhaps approaching dangerous animals? "We don't know what to say - Tacchetto murmurs - Certainly Mr. Rizzi is a trusted person and is giving us important help."
    A few days before disappearing, Tacchetto and Blais would have welcomed a hitchhiker in their car. Is there a connection? "I have no idea," says the former mayor, lowering his head. On the screen of his mobile phone there is always that last video.


    BBM
     
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  14. cybervampira

    cybervampira Well-Known Member

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    Report says Quebec woman missing in Burkina Faso may have been kidnapped
     
  15. ZaZara

    ZaZara Well-Known Member

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    Il francese a Edith e Luca: "Visitate il parco a Sindou"

    Frenchman to Edith and Luca: "Visit the park in Sindou"


    The last notices, received by Luca's father on his mobile phone, are a photo, which shows them at dinner with a local couple and a short video, in the car with the man, a Frenchman married to a woman from Burkina Faso. Then, from that moment on, the silence sets in. From Luca and Edith no more messages, no photos on the social networks: nothing. The families, from Italy and Canada, wanting to know the truth, were able to contact a local guide, who tracked down the French with whom Edith and Luca had spent the evening. His name is Robert and he would have "advised the two boys to visit a natural park", according to Paolo Rizzo, who follows the case, reports to Corriere della Sera. In fact, the younger man had expressed the desire to visit a nature park and it seems, again on the instructions of the Frenchman, that the two were headed to Sindou, a strip of land, surrounded by very high rocks, which is located 50 kilometers from the city of Banfora. It is likely that the young people wanted to visit one of the most famous tourist attractions of the place.

    In addition, someone would have noticed their car "in Banfora and so it seems that they have disappeared on the route that leads from the capital to the famous rocks." However, around the main road, which leads from Banfora to Sindou, there are many secondary roads and it is precidsely because of these roads that the hypothesis of the abduction arises: "It is very likely that the two have been kidnapped," said a Canadian living in Burkina Faso, "probably by a jihadist group."
    But, according to her fellow countryman, the two tourists were seen on 22 December in "Zimarè, 50 kilometers from the capital Ouagadougou" and may have crossed the border illegally.


    BBM



    Peaks at Sindou, source Wikimedia Commons:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. cybervampira

    cybervampira Well-Known Member

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  17. realanastasia

    realanastasia Active Member

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    Presumably the Frenchman who lives in Burkina Faso knew that the two tourists would attract notice as they headed to this “nature park”—so this makes me wonder two things: first, was he “in” on the alleged abduction (getting kickbacks from the ransom that would ostensibly be paid to the kidnappers or asking the two families involved to provide him with $$ to use in “negotiations” with said kidnappers)? Secondly, I wonder if there’s any evidence the two young travelers ever left this man’s home (I get that they went to a disco after their dinner but think it likely that they went back to his house afterwards)? I just get a sense from the latest news that his story (“I recommended they visit this place even though its area is known to be popular with thieves and kidnappers looking for tourists, so it’s not surprising that they’re missing now!”) is a little too convenient... MOO.
     
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  18. ZaZara

    ZaZara Well-Known Member

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    BBM


    Please post a MSM- link for this staement “I recommended they visit this place even though its area is known to be popular with thieves and kidnappers looking for tourists, so it’s not surprising that they’re missing now!”
     
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  19. ZaZara

    ZaZara Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    On 31 December 2018, the Burkina Faso Government declared a state of emergency in a number of provinces in northern and eastern Burkina Faso along the Mali, Niger, Togo and Benin borders. The announcement follows the deaths of ten gendarmes in a terrorist attack in north-west Burkina Faso on 27 December and a general deterioration in security over the past year. Follow the directions of local authorities, including adhering to curfews.

    Official advice: reconsider your need to travel.

    Source: Australian government
    Smartraveller.gov.au - Burkina Faso


    BBM


    Sindou now is in the do-not-travel area, two weeks after Luca and Edith allegedly disappeared there. It seems obviouis why the authorities are considering an abduction by terrorists.
     
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  20. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Staff Member Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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    USA has a Level 3 travel advisory for Burkina Faso:

    Burkina Faso Travel Advisory

    Reconsider travel to Burkina Faso due to terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

    Do not travel to:
    • The northern Sahel border region shared with Mali and Niger due to crime and terrorism.
    • The provinces of Kmoandjari, Tapoa, Kompienga, and Gourma in East Region due to crime and terrorism.
    Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Burkina Faso. Terrorists may conduct attacks anywhere with no warning. Targets may include hotels, restaurants, police stations, customs offices, military posts, and schools.
     

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