SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: August 15, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Ouahigouya University

Region & Country:Western Africa | Burkina Faso

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On August 15, 2022, unknown individuals engaged in a series of violent and destructive acts on the campus of the University of Ouahigouya.

On August 15, a campus building was set on fire; it took firefighters until the next day to control the fire. On August 16, as faculty and staff were leaving campus, a vehicle drove over a mine, causing it to detonate and injuring the driver. According to available reporting, it is unclear who started the fire or planted the mine, although witnesses allegedly saw a group of individuals break into the campus before the fire started.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about a violent attack on a higher education institution. State authorities should take steps to prevent and respond to such attacks, including by carrying out investigations and holding perpetrators accountable, in accordance with international human rights standards. Violent attacks on campuses undermine core higher education values, including academic freedom and university autonomy, and harm democratic society generally.

*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)