Mines to close in northern Burkina Faso

All artisanal mines are being closed in the northern province of Sahel, in Burkina Faso, following a series of attacks that left at least 160 dead.

The order comes into force at midnight on Monday.

Since 2009, gold has become Burkina Faso’s leading export, overtaking cotton, and ranking the country among Africa’s largest gold producers alongside South Africa, Ghana and Mali.

In a statement published earlier in the day, local authorities also invited miners to vacate the sites which many believe attract armed groups.

In another press release, the governor banned the use of two- and three-wheeled vehicles in part of the region, particularly in the provinces of Oudalan and Yagha.

In January, artisanal mining sites were closed in the region following a series of attacks.

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