Human Security Research Centre Ghana (HSRCGh)

Victims of Terrorist Attack on Bittou in Burkina Faso seek refuge in Bawku West, Binduri and Bawku Municipal Areas in Ghana

Incident Report:

Movement of refugees from Bittou in Burkina Faso into Ghana

1,000 Burkinabes run to Ghana, seek refuge in Bawku West, Binduri and Bawku Municipal –

About 1,000 Burkinabe nationals from neighbouring Burkina Faso are seeking refuge in Bansi, Gentiga no1 and No.2, Mognori, Sapeliga, Kutanga and Yarigungu in Bawku West District, Binduri District and Bawku Municipal of the Upper East Region. They fled from Benliyali, a community in Burkina Faso after an attack by unknown gunmen at night killing several persons. The District Chief Executive for Binduri, Ayinga Yakubu Abagre told Modernghana News that some of the refugees are temporarily camped at Yarigungu and Bansi in his district.

Security on high alert as Burkinabe refugees arrive in Ghana –

Security at the Ghana-Burkina Faso border has been intensified after over 1,000 refugees from Burkina Faso arrived in the country. The Burkinabes, majority being women and children, according to reports, fled after Islamist militant fighters attacked their communities near Bittou in Burkina Faso. The refugees are seeking refuge in communities including Bansi, Mognori, Sapeliga, Kutanga and Yarigungu in the Binduri, Bawku municipality and Bawku West District.

Over 700 Burkinabe refugees arrive in Ghana –

Over 700 Burkinabe nationals who fled terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso have arrived in Ghana. This was confirmed by the Ghana Refugee Board. Most of the refugees who are women and children are seeking refuge in communities in the Bawku Municipal and Bawku West districts.

Further Westward movement of VEOs in Burkina Faso – HSRCGh Field Sources

Bittou is a major town in Boulgou Province in the Southeast of Burkina Faso. Boulgou Province has been the limit of government’s territorial control to the East of Burkina Faso towards Niger. The attack on Bittou could be an indication of the further westward movement of Violent Extremist Organizations(VEOs) in Burkina Faso and the consolidation of their control in the Boulgou province.

Map Orientation:

The 2020 situation indicates that the major thrust of Terrorist activities is on the eastern flank from Mali through North of Burkina Faso along the Burkina – Niger border unto the Northern borders of Benin and Togo. In the Southeast, the Burkinabe authorities maintained control over Boulgou Province which had experienced no attacks by end of 2020.


Avenues of approach of Violent Extremist Organizations(VEOs) from Sahel towards Ghana.

Among the three Avenues of Approach of VEOs from Mali and Burkina Faso toward Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo and Benin,as depicted in the (Eastern, Central and Western corridors), the Eastern Avenue of Approach has had much more terrorist attacks than the Central and Western Corridors. Attacks launched by Islamic State in the Greater Sahara(ISGS) have dominated terrorist activity in the Eastern Avenue of Approach. HSRCGh Field reports indicate that, ISGS has recruited a high number of youth from Fulani Communities along the Eastern Avenue of Approach and across Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

Short Term Projection: In the short term, any terrorist attack on Benin, Togo or Ghana is more likely to be launched from the Eastern Avenue of Approach than from the Central and/or Western Avenues of Approach.

Medium/Long Term Projection: Considering the trend and the recent VEOs incursions into the Boulgou, Koulpelogo, Kompienga and Tapoa Provinces in the South of Burkina Faso, by elements suspected to be affiliated to the ISGS, one could project that In the medium to long term, ISGS could consolidate its presence in the Tillaberri, Tahoua and Dosso regions of Niger and also the Boulgou, Koulpelogo, Kompienga and Tapoa provinces in Burkina Faso. Such consolidation could create a Forward Operating Base in Burkina for ISGS elements to launch attacks on Benin, Togo and Ghana.


The Security authorities in Ghana, Togo and Benin may need to work together with the authorities in Burkina Faso to evolve strategies that deny the VEOs domination of the Boulgou, Koulpelogo, Kompienga and Tapoa provinces of Burkina Faso.

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