US warns against travel to Burkina Faso

2011-04-20 08:55
Washington - The United States on Tuesday warned its citizens not to travel to the restive west African country of Burkina Faso, saying the situation there "remains tense and unpredictable".

The State Department urged US citizens to defer travel plans "due to increasing security concerns relating to incidents of violence and lawlessness in numerous cities throughout the country."

US citizens already in Burkina Faso "are encouraged to maintain good situational and security awareness", it said.

Soldiers - decried as mutinous by the new army chief - took to the streets of Ouagadougou and at least three other cities last week, looting shops and torching merchant stalls and the homes of army officers and other officials.

They were demanding their March pay, housing and food allowances, which the authorities began to pay out on Saturday.

Their rampage prompted a violent counter-protest by shopkeepers in the capital on Saturday, when a hospital official said around 45 people were admitted with injuries. Rapes were also reported.

A private in the presidential guard who said he was the spokesperson of the mutinous soldiers called on state television late on Monday for an end to the uprising and declared loyalty to President Blaise Campaore.

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