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West African nations beef up security after Ouagadougou terror siege

West African nations beef up security after Ouagadougou terror siege


In the wake of weekend attacks in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, that left at least 29 people dead, security has been beefed up in countries on Monday, as businesses and banks reopened.

There has been increased presence of security forces in front of hotels and increased cooperation with authorities to thwart any threats. Customers are being subjected to systematic body searches and cars are also being inspected.

At the Sofitel Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, for example, uniformed police officers are patrolling the gardens. Nothing is being left to chance. Dogs have also been involved in the patrols.

The script doesn’t change for Radisson Blu hotel in Dakar, Senegal, where additional surveillance cameras have been installed and staffing of security guards revamped.

“Of course, there is always a risk, but I can assure you that we have taken all precautions to secure the building in the most professional manner,” said Jorgen Jorgensen, the general manager of the hotel.

From Dakar to Lome via Abidjan and Bamako, people must now show their credentials to access these buildings. The game is worth the candle, as terrorists are targeting these places mostly because of their strong expatriate clientele.

“If you hit the capital, you are seen as a great power. The threat is so real to other cities such as Dakar and Abidjan,” said Cynthia Ohayon, an analyst at International Crisis Group.