Burkina Faso

France Agrees To Withdraw Military Troops, Recall Its Envoy From Burkina Faso

France has said it will withdraw its troops from Burkina Faso within a month after the West African country’s military leaders asked it to leave, reported The Africa News.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the French Foreign Ministry said it had received a notice from Burkina Faso that a 2018 agreement on the deployment of French troops in the country had been terminated.

“On Tuesday, January 24, we formally received the denunciation, by the Burkinabe government, of the 2018 agreement relating to the status of the French forces present in this country,” the ministry said in a statement.

It added that according to the terms of the accord, the termination takes effect a month after reception of written notification.

There are currently 400 special French forces soldiers deployed in Burkina Faso, a country struggling to control militant groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS).

On Thursday, France said it would also recall its ambassador to the country for consultations.

Burkina Faso’s military junta had demanded the ambassador’s replacement over his comments about the country’s deteriorating security situation.

French troops have been deployed in West Africa since 2013 to fight jihadist groups in the Sahel. Since 2018, the French and Burkina Faso governments have had an agreement allowing the presence of French troops in Burkina Faso.

But, after the second coup in Burkina Faso last year, anti-French sentiment has increased in the country amid perceptions that France military presence has not improved the security situation.

The withdrawal decreases France’s military footprint in the Sahel region, after it also withdrew forces from Mali following a military coup in the country and the eventual breakdown in relations with the Malian government.

Both Burkina Faso and Mali are fighting a long-running jihadist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and forced millions to flee their homes.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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