French troops will leave Burkina Faso on insistence from Ouagadougou
Paris announced on Wednesday that French troops will leave Burkina Faso within a month, after the Burkinabe government officially repudiated the 2018 status of forces agreement. Special forces soldiers of the former colonial power had been deployed in the West African nation, as part of a mission to combat terrorism.
The French Foreign Ministry formally received the demarche from Ouagadougou on Tuesday, giving France the 30-day notice to withdraw.
“We will respect the terms of the agreement by honoring this request,” the Quai d’Orsay said in a statement. According to AFP, the troops will leave Burkina Faso by the end of February, and their equipment will follow by late April.
An estimated 400 French troops have been in Burkina Faso for years as part of Operation Sabre, a counter-insurgency targeting jihadists in the former African colonies. Frustrated with the fruitless campaign, the Burkinabe military ousted the civilian president in a coup last January. The French-educated Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba was then overthrown by Captain Ibrahim Traore in September.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Ouagadougou last Friday to demand the French departure. Some chanted anti-French slogans, while others waved Russian flags. According to the Agence d’Information du Burkina, the Traore government had made the decision to expel the former colonial power two days prior. France responded by seeking clarification from the former colony.
Burkina Faso’s move comes less than six months after its neighbor Mali also sent the French troops packing. Paris had fought Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and Al-Qaeda affiliates for nine years. France blamed Russia for Mali’s change of heart.
The military government in Bamako has since reached out to the Russian private military company Wagner Group, following the example of the Central African Republic. The Burkinabe government has not made any deals with Wagner yet.
Burkina Faso has a population of about 20 million and is landlocked between Mali and Niger in the north, and Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire in the south. All were French colonies at some point, except Ghana which had been ruled by the British.
RT (Russia Today) is a state-owned news organization funded by the Russian government. The information provided by this news source is being included by the Libertarian Hub not as an endorsement of the Russian government, but rather because it is being actively censored by Big Tech, Western governments and the corporate press. During times of conflict it is imperative that we have access to both sides of the story so we can form our own opinions, even if both sides are spewing their own propaganda. The censorship of RT, despite likely being a propaganda outfit for the Russian government, reduces our ability to hear one side of the conflict. For that reason, the Libertarian Hub will temporarily republish the RSS feed from RT. Visit https://rt.com
This post has been republished with implied permission from a publicly-available RSS feed found on RT. The views expressed by the original author(s) do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of The Libertarian Hub, its owners or administrators. Any images included in the original article belong to and are the sole responsibility of the original author/website. The Libertarian Hub makes no claims of ownership of any imported photos/images and shall not be held liable for any unintended copyright infringement. Submit a DCMA takedown request.