An overnight curfew was imposed across northern Burkina Faso and two other provinces to counter jihadists who frequently launch attacks in those areas.

“As part of the fight against terrorism, a curfew is imposed from 10:00 p.m. to 05:00 a.m. (…) from March 3 to Friday, March 31,” the secretary general of the northern region, Kuliga Albert Zongo, said in a memorandum. “During this period, the movement of people, cars, two-wheelers and bicycles is prohibited,” he added, calling on residents to “strictly” observe the measures and remain at home during these hours.

Zongo clarified that the measure is aimed at facilitating the operations of the armed forces in this area bordering Mali.

Traffic bans were imposed in two other areas, Kulpelogo, in the Central-Eastern region, which borders Ghana and Togo, and Bam, in the Central-Northern region. In mid-February, the same ban that has been in effect since 2019 in the Eastern region was extended for three months, i.e. until May 21.

Since the beginning of the year, jihadist attacks have intensified in Burkina Faso, where dozens of people, civilians and soldiers, are killed every week. Last week the army said that based on a “provisional count”, 51 people were killed in an ambush against soldiers on February 17 in the far north of the country. This is the deadliest attack since Captain Ibrahim Traore took power in a coup in late September 2022.

The violence, attributed to al-Qaeda and Islamic State, has killed at least 10,000 people since 2015 and displaced two million, according to non-governmental count.