Ouagadougou - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Crime is a concern like any city. Be smart and do normal risk mitigation things. Lock doors, take belongings with you, be aware of surroundings. Expats tend to be targets, so being alert is important and knowing which neighborhoods to avoid. - Jun 2020

Yes. There is travel warning on State.gov. Personal travel outside Ouagadougou is prohibited for official embassy personnel due to the violence in the country. Crime is common. During our tenure we knew of more than one person whose house was broken into during the night, while they were home asleep, with guards on duty. I've heard it one break-in happened within our embassy community. Embassy personnel currently receive danger pay. - Oct 2019

Read the Travel Warning on www.state.gov. The country is rife with violence of all natures: ethnic, Islamic extremist, and crime. Personal travel outside the city of Ouagadougou is not permitted for official personnel. Crime is common within the city. There were several instances of thieves breaking into occupied homes during the night while guards were on duty. - Jul 2019

Burkina Faso is designated Level 3, i.e., Reconsider Travel by the State Department due to terrorism, and kidnapping. Crime is common including home break-ins. There have been several examples of thieves breaking into houses during the night, while people are at home, even with guards on duty on the premises. Official personnel are not permitted to travel outside of Ouagadougou for personal purposes. - Jul 2019

There have been two terrorist attacks in Ouagadougou since January 2016, and there are also many public demonstrations. As a family, we remain alert and tend to avoid going out much during busy times. We are not officially restricted in going places around Ouaga. There is a red zone in the north where we are not allowed to go. - Dec 2017

Yes, and increasingly so. The last 18 months have seen a popular uprising, a (failed) coup d'etat, and a terrorist attack at a popular expat cafe that killed nearly as many people as the Brussels terrorist attacks. Mali and Cote d'Ivoire saw similar AQMI-funded or -inspired attacks in the same timeframe. The region is beginning to shift toward greater instability, which is disappointing given how hard the Burkinabe are struggling to build a functioning democracy. There are also some concerns with street and property crime. We've experienced two attempted, but failed, break-in attempts. Overall, though, on a day-to-day basis I feel pretty safe. But after the terrorist attacks, there's the lingering sense that something similar could happen again. - May 2016

Take normal precautions when walking in crowded places or alone, stay aware of your situation, lock your doors at night. Overall, Ouaga is very safe. - Aug 2015

There's some pick-pocketing and petty theft. Seems like violent crime is increasing but it's still a really safe city. - Jun 2015

There have been some break-ins recently. Situational awareness and just common sense will help you. I drive with my doors locked. Windows are up just because of the smell and bad air. We have alarms on our house that we set at night and when we are away. - Jan 2015

General situational awareness like keeping an eye out for things out of the ordinary like you would anywhere else. - Jul 2013

Don't go up north, don't take public transportation, purse/bag snatching abounds. Pay for someone to watch your car. It's cheap and it keeps break-ins from happening. - Jul 2013

Pretty stable as so far as crime, but confidence schemes and scams abound. The locals view westerners as naive and easy prey, but just be cautious and discerning and you'll be alright. - Apr 2013

There are, especially in the north with the situation in northern Mali, so it's not a good idea to venture up that far. Pickpocketing and scams are very common, but violent crime targeting Westerners is rare. - Nov 2012

Terrorism is on the rise in the northern part of the country, but it has not affected Ouaga yet. - Aug 2010

No. You can hire a guard to guard your house. All the time I have lived there I have only heard of one robbery. - Aug 2008

Security is a concern for locals and expats without good security guards. House break-ins and pick-pocketing is fairly common. But violent crime against expats is rare. - Jul 2008

Ouagadougou seems to be quite safe. The biggest concern is crime. Periodically one hears of home break-ins, and we've experienced pick-pocketing. But, we generally feel very safe. - Jun 2008

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