The U.S military on Wednesday announced travel restriction to five West African countries for its military personnel due to incessant militant attacks in the region.
U.S. Africa Command has between 1,000 and 1,200 forces on the continent offering training and support to African forces in war against violent extremists.
According to REUTERS, U.S. defense officials said, the order bans U.S. military personnel from unofficial travel to Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Ghana.
A hotel siege in Mali last November, that was followed by an attack that killed 29 people in a hotel and restaurant in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso in January, coupled with the recent attack at a resort in Ivory Coast on Sunday, that left no fewer than 19 people dead may have necessitated this development. All attacks were claimed by al Qaeda’s North African branch, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
“It’s just increased vigilance given the recent events that have happened in that area of the world,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Falvo, a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command said.
U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Michelle Baldanza, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said the order remains in effect until June 30, and does not restrict official travel to the countries involved.
“Given the recent attacks in western Africa, we felt it prudent to make this decision at this time in an effort to ensure the safety of our personnel,” Baldanza said.