TravelPrep is here! Important safety information direct to travellers

February 4, 2022 / Riskline Informer

Burkina Faso military takes power in West Africa’s latest coup

A military junta has taken control of Burkina Faso in the name of public security, but such governments have rarely been capable of solving the long-term problems which lead to coups in West Africa in the first place.


Late on 24 January, a group of soldiers led by Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba announced on state television that they had detained President Roch Marc Christian Kabore and taken control of Burkina Faso following two days of unrest in the capital, Ouagadougou.

The military officers, operating under the banner of the Patriotic Movement for Preservation and Restoration (MPSR), swiftly suspended the constitution, dissolved parliament, closed the borders and imposed an overnight curfew, in the fourth coup in West Africa in the past 18 months. The mutinying soldiers said that they overthrew Kabore, who was re-elected for a second term in 2020, due to his inability to protect civilians amid a worsening security crisis that has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people and the displacement of over 1.5 million more.

The military junta has since reinstated the constitution and appointed 41-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Damiba as interim president, head of state and supreme leader of the armed forces, for a transitional period with no set end date. The new government declared that it will prioritize improving the security situation, which will be no easy task given that government security forces, which are frequently accused of corruption and human rights abuses, are ill-equipped and inexperienced.

A failure to improve the security situation in the near-term is likely to result in a loss of support for the new military regime. Beyond the immediate security crisis, deeper unresolved issues fuelling the violence, such as poor governance, lack of opportunities, climate change and impunity for state-sanctioned corruption, will be a greater challenge for the military-led government.

Towards a regional axis of military juntas?

Burkina Faso has a history of successful and failed coups, and military-led governments have dominated the political scene since independence from France in 1960.  The deposition of Kabore in Burkina Faso follows two military coups in Mali in August 2020 and May 2021, respectively, as well as a failed coup in Niger in March 2021 and a successful coup in Guinea in September 2021.

The uptick in the number of coups reflects the failure of the region’s democratically-elected governments to address their populations’ problems and concerns. Large protests in support of the coup, and a lack of protests against the removal of Kabore, indicate that a large part of the population believe a military-led government is more capable of reigning in armed groups than an elected civilian president. Similar protests also took place in Mali and Guinea following their military coups.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) have suspended Burkina Faso’s membership and the coup was condemned internationally. However, consequences have largely been absent for the coup leaders, who have been able to take power with impunity.

ECOWAS imposed sanctions on Mali and Guinea in 2021 but, as evidenced by the coup in Burkina Faso and a failed coup attempt in Guinea-Bissau on 1 February, one week after the Burkina Faso putsch, sanctions appear to be an ineffective deterrent and play into the hands of coup leaders. A potential axis of new military-led governments in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso could also help to ease the pressure from ECOWAS and other international actors if they are able to work together and help each other; Guinea’s coup leaders have already indicated that they will disregard all sanctions against any other members.

Beyond West Africa, France, the European Union (EU) and the rest of the international community, while condemning the new reality, are largely powerless to influence the situation, and wish to maintain positive relations with governments, especially regarding security and counterterrorism in the Sahel region.

A hardline approach by international actors is likely to strengthen the legitimacy of the new military regimes and push them towards new alliances with other partners, as witnessed by Mali’s ongoing diplomatic rift with France and increased cooperation with the Russian paramilitary Wagner Group following French threats to withdraw troops. New dynamics and actors will likely undermine the fight against terorrism in the Sahel region, which in turn will increase public hostility towards international partners and eventually erode the legitimacy of the current military-led governments domestically. The end result will be further military uprisings in the name of public security.


The rise in successful coup attempts in West Africa in recent years is a worrying sign for democracy as military governments are often hard to remove once in power and their ability to maintain security is usually no better than the civilian governments they replaced. The Riskline Forecast for 2022 predicted that more coups are likely in the region in the coming years if coup leaders can act without consequences and elected governments are unable to provide security or meet the basic needs of their citizens.

Share This
Continue Reading

Travel chaos in Europe

Optimism surrounding air travel in Europe following the relaxation of COVID-19 rules has dampened as staff shortages and industrial action have resulted in mass flight cancellations and other disruptions.

Read more

Protect your organisation’s assets

Complement your expertise with our comprehensive risk reports
You can concentrate on protection strategies because we’ve already done the initial research. Riskline has risk reports for over 225 countries and regions around the world, and city safety reports for over 250 cities. We follow developments around the world everyday so you can stay focused on protecting your assets.

Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Power your data-driven insurance

Risk intelligence that helps you manage loss ratios and generate new revenue
Improve the accuracy of your underwriting and dynamic pricing models with our suite of destination risk reports and 24/7 global alerts. We follow developments around the world everyday so you can take comfort that your product decisions reflect up-to-date risk information. Our data can also be integrated as a value-added service by providing pre-travel advice and risk alerts that keep customers updated wherever they are in the world.

Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Manage COVID-19 disruptions

Your single trusted source for COVID-19 risk and restrictions around the globe
Stay updated with our up-to-the-minute information on testing, vaccination and quarantine requirements, COVID-19 infection rates and trends, and local restrictions. You can easily integrate our data directly into your systems through our dedicated COVID-19 API and TravelCheck widget, or get detailed reports in one place through the Microsite.

Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Offer travellers vital trip information

Offer your clients a full package of travel services
You’re the experts in bookings, itineraries and expenses, let our experts take care of destination risk assessments and real-time travel alerts. In this increasingly volatile world, you can offer your customers the best view of where it’s safe for them to travel, and what to expect on their trip.

Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Make decisions quickly with verified information

Ensure duty of care for employees and stay updated
When responding to a crisis you want to stay up-to-date with accurate information. We take care of providing up-to-date risk alerts so you can focus on planning and acting. Our destination risk reports ensure your employees are well prepared when they travel to high-risk areas, with detailed analysis of on-the-ground risks and baseline operating conditions.

Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Travellers are safer when they stay informed

Riskline Alert Messaging operates all day, every day. Each alert contains essential intelligence, practical advice and precise geographic data about risks to traveller safety or impacts on travel plans. When we are able to get advanced warning, notices are also issued for events happening in the future.
Riskline Informer
Keep informed of key developments around the world.

Helping travellers manage Covid-19 disruptions

We have closely tracked developments associated with COVID-19 since late 2019, gathering detailed information on entry and exit requirements, You can get our real-time COVID-19 intelligence via alerts, API, microsite, and the TravelCheck widget.
Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Risk ratings you can build a travel policy around

Riskline has detailed assessments for more than 225 countries and territories around the world. Each report has an easy-to-understand Risk Level™ that can be integrated into travel policies and other business operations. Risk assessments include an overview of the security and travel safety situation in a country, and detailed analysis of the political, terrorism, conflict, unrest, crime, natural, health and local transport risks.
Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Know more about where you actually go

We assess the safety of more than 250 global cities, assigning each a clear Risk Level. In addition to city-specific threats and other local knowledge, every report has a map of important locations down to street level.
Use Cases
See how our City Safety Reports can help keep your travellers safe.

People make better decisions when they have the full picture

Advisories are detailed assessments of ongoing security situations and travel issues. We publish reports for high-risk geographic areas, political and security crises, persisting travel disruptions and major upcoming events, such as elections and international sporting competitions.
Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Everything your travellers need to know before they travel

Riskline’s TravelPrep provides important safety information directly to travellers, empowering them to travel safer and smarter.
Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Get prepared before you travel

Riskline Pre-Travel Advisories (PTAs) are exactly what a traveller needs to know about their destination before they leave home. Each report is a concise summary of the security and travel safety situation for any destination, and can be sent straight to travellers’ emails.

Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

The right guidance for specific needs

Not all travellers are the same. Riskline’s Specific Traveller Advice includes country-specific information tailored for LGBTQ+ travellers, female travellers and tech-dependent travellers.

Riskline Informer
Keep informed of key developments around the world.

Covid-19 travel advice at your fingertips

Don’t let COVID-19 confusion get in the way of your customers’ decisions. Give them a tool at their fingertips that lets them see the implications of Covid on their travel plans and how best to prepare for their trip. TravelCheck displays up to date risk and infection scores, at-a-glance information on their destination and need-to-know information on departure, in-flight and arrival.

It’s easy to customise your widget with your own brand colour and poster image, to seamlessly integrate it into your website.

Our simple Javascript installation will get you up and running in no time. A few lines of code is all it takes to install the widget, with 2 display modes available – inline for embedding into a single page, or modal for a floating, site-wide travel assistant.

Interested in trying our TravelCheck widget? Get in touch.

Keep Informed

Get the latest Riskline Informer news delivered to your inbox.


We use cookies to improve our services.
Find out more