"We are terminating the agreement which allows French forces to be in Burkina Faso. This is not the end of diplomatic relations between Burkina Faso and France," spokesman Jean-Emmanuel Ouedraogo told Radio-Television Burkina (RTB).
French President Emmanuel Macron said during a news conference in Paris on Sunday that the message from Burkina Faso was “confusing” with junta leader Ibrahim Traore away from the capital, Ouagadougou.
Citing the official Agence d’Information du Burkina, national broadcaster RTB reported Saturday that the junta government had decided Wednesday to end the French military presence in the country.
“I think we must be very careful,” Macron said about the report, mentioning Russia’s possible interference and the need to make sure that there was no “manipulation” of information.Anti-French sentiment has grown in Burkina Faso, a former French colony, since Traore seized power in September. Traore has been more overtly open to working with other countries, notably Russia.
Protesters took to the streets of Ouagadougou this month to call for the ouster of the French ambassador and the closure of a French military base north of the capital. About 400 French special forces soldiers are currently based there, FRANCE 24 reported.
France finished withdrawing its troops from Mali after nine years fighting Islamic extremists alongside regional troops. Many of the French soldiers are now based in Niger and Chad instead.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
President Emmanuel Macron saw his decision to push through a change in the retirement age as necessary, but the price may be high.