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Demonstration Alert: U.S. Embassy Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (October 13, 2023)
October 13, 2023

Location: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Event: A ceremony to commemorate Thomas Sankara is scheduled to take place on the 36th anniversary of his assassination, at 1430 on Sunday, October 15, at the Thomas Sankara memorial. The ceremony will include a wreath-laying and proposal of monument infrastructure upgrades, declaration of Sankara as Hero of the Nation, and renaming of Boulevard Charles de Gaulle to Boulevard Thomas Sankara.

The size of the event is unknown, however due to the nature of the ceremony being organized by the government for the first time, and expected to be presided over by TA President Ibrahim Traore, there is a high possibility of road closures and increased security related to VIP/government official attendance, which may negatively impact one’s ability to move freely within the Thomas Sankara memorial area.

Attempts to take video or photographs of demonstrations may attract attention and antagonize the crowd. Avoid risking your safety to take photographs or video.

American citizens should avoid large gatherings of people that may appear elsewhere and immediately depart the area if a large crowd is encountered. If unable to depart the area immediately:

Actions to Take:

  •         Maintain a low profile as much as possible.
  •         Avoid actions that attract attention.
  •         Look for a safe area to hide.
  •         Be on the lookout for ways to escape and take the opportunity if it appears to be a       safe course of action.
  •         Be prepared – Ensure you have a supply of food, water, and first aid items at your home to last three days in case a situation arises requiring you to shelter-in-place. If you have a vehicle, ensure it is always at least half full of fuel.
  •         Know your surroundings – Be aware of what is happening around you and have a plan to get to a safe area.

On October 15th, U.S. citizens are advised to avoid the area, limit travel in Ouagadougou, and stay informed of local media reports.  Contact the Embassy at (226) 25 49 53 00 if you are in need of immediate assistance.