Security Message for U.S. Citizens: April 8th Demonstrations

The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens that the “Coalition Against the High Cost of Living,” in French Coalition Contre la Vie Chère, or CCVC, has organized a nationwide protest/strike throughout many cities in Burkina Faso for April 8, 2015.  CCVC proposes this national day of protest to express grievances related to the high cost of living, certain aspects of the labor law, and the deaths of Norbert Zongo, Thomas Sankara, and others.

The demonstration in Ouagadougou is expected to take the form of a meeting at the Place de la Nation, also known as the Place de la Revolution, on Wednesday, April 8 at 9:00 a.m. with an unknown ending time.  Crowds, heavy traffic, and road closures in the vicinity may be expected as police sources have indicated up to 35,000 individuals may be in attendance.

In addition, the Embassy has received reports of possible sporadic, unannounced demonstrations protesting a proposed amendment to Burkina Faso’s electoral code.

The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place and to exercise caution whenever in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.  Please remember, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  Citizens are encouraged to review their personal security plans, remain aware of their surroundings, including local events, and to monitor local news stations for updates.  Be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling or residing abroad enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Monitor the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution on State Department’s website.  Read the Country Specific Information for Burkina Faso.  For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist.”

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy Ouagadougou is located in Ouaga 2000, Sector 15, on Avenue Sembene Ousmane, southeast of the Monument aux Héros Nationaux.  If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance outside of business hours, the emergency after-hours number for the U.S. Embassy is (+226) 25-49-53-00.  Dial “1,” and ask to be connected to the duty officer.