Burkina Faso demands withdrawal: France’s military should go

Burkina Faso demands withdrawal: France’s military should go

The military government in Ouagadougou terminates the defense agreement with Paris. Russia and Iran are available as new partners.

people with signs

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso: Pro-Russian anti-France rally Photo: Vincent Bado / Reuters

OUAGADOUGOU afp/ap/taz | Burkina Faso’s military government is demanding the end of the French military presence. The 2018 defense agreement, which regulates the presence of French soldiers in Burkina Faso, was canceled last Wednesday, reported the state news agency AIB on Saturday.

This means that France now has one month to withdraw, the report specified. There are no permanent French military units in Burkina Faso, but there are special forces from France to fight terrorism. They could now be transferred to Niger at short notice, according to the French news agency AFP.

Last year, France was forced to withdraw from Mali, which is also governed by a military government. There is great fear that after Mali, Burkina Faso is now also seeking military partnership with Russia and other anti-Western countries.

Last week, Prime Minister Appolinaire Joachimson Kyelem de Tambela called cooperation with Russia a “wise choice” and on Friday he received Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Baghan and asked for Iranian military aid. The Iranian said Western countries have established Islamist terrorist groups such as “Islamic State”.

Meanwhile, in Burkina Faso, the army freed 66 women and children who had been kidnapped in the past week. The group was identified during a military operation in the north of the country, it was reported the state television station RTB on Friday. The group included 39 children. Four of them are still very small.

Islamist extremists abducted the women and children near the city of Arbinda in Soum province while they were gathering wild fruit. According to human rights groups, Arbinda has been blocked by extremists for years. The residents, especially women, cannot move freely as a result.

Thousands of people have died in Burkina Faso in recent years and almost two million have been displaced by attacks by Islamic extremists. Because the government was unable to bring the situation under control, the military staged two coups last year. But the new military government that has been in power since September is also having problems containing the violence.

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