OUAGADOUGOU, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Burkina Faso’s military government has demanded the departure of French troops stationed in the country, the West African nation’s national television reported on Saturday, citing a local news agency.
A spokesman for the government did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for the French government was not immediately available for comment.
A source close to the Burkina Faso military government confirmed the news of the demand for the departure of French troops, but gave no further details
Burkina Faso’s state television RTB, citing the news agency, said the military government on Jan. 18 suspended a 2018 military accord that allowed the presence of French troops in the country. It added that France had a month to pull its troops from Burkina Faso.
The decision is a sign of a further deterioration of relations between France and its former colony since a September 2022 military coup. Some of the tension revolves around perceptions that France’s military presence in Burkina Faso has not improved security in the insurgent-hit West African country.
Hundreds demonstrated against Paris in the capital Ouagadougou on Friday, chanting anti-France slogans and wielding placards calling on the French army to leave the country. read more
France has some 400 special forces based in the country to help local forces battle the Islamist insurgency that has spread across the Sahel from Mali over the past decade.
Reporting by Thiam Ndiaga
Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Emelia Sithole-Matarise