25 Jan. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The diplomatic authorities of France have confirmed on Tuesday the withdrawal of their Armed Forces deployed in Burkina Faso within a month, according to ‘Le Parisien’ according to sources from the French Foreign Ministry.
Burkina Faso’s military junta confirmed on Monday that it had asked France to withdraw its troops from the country, while asking for “material support” from Ouagadougou’s “friends” to reinforce operations against terrorism in the African nation.
According to the spokesman for the transitional government, Jean Emmanuel Ouédraogo, the main argument to justify the decision is the intention that “it will be the Burkinabe themselves” who carry out “the sacrifice” for the “liberation” of Burkina Faso, “the reconquest of the integrity of the territory and the refoundation” of the country.
Thus, according to the information collected by ‘Le Parisien’, the French Executive would have given the ‘green light’ to the withdrawal of troops within a month, thus fulfilling the request of Ouagadougou and in respect of the agreement signed with the African nation in 2018, which precisely detailed the deployment of French soldiers.
Burkina Faso’s decision is thus based on Ouagadougou’s claim to “rely on its own means to win the war”, thus disregarding the collaboration of France. It is true that the Burkinabe government has insisted that the decision regarding the French troops “is not related to a particular event.”
France has some 400 special forces soldiers deployed in Burkina Faso as part of Operation ‘Sabre’. Less than a month ago, Ouagadougou asked Paris to change its ambassador to the country, amid the increase in bilateral tensions in recent months and in the face of a rapprochement between the junta and Russia, a country that it has asked to “take its place in Burkina Faso.
Burkina Faso, ruled by a military junta since the January 2022 coup against then-president Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, has experienced increased insecurity since 2015. The junta is now headed by Ibrahim Traoré, who starred in September a coup that was considered a “palace coup” against the hitherto leader, Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba.
The continuous attacks in the country, carried out by both the Al Qaeda affiliate and the Islamic State affiliate in the region, have also contributed to an increase in inter-communal violence and have caused self-defense groups to flourish, to which the Burkinabe government has added to ‘volunteers’. The deterioration of security has caused a wave of internally displaced persons and refugees to other countries in the region.