Burkina Faso requests French ambassador withdrawal, Paris says | News

Relations between France and the former colony of Burkina Faso continued to deteriorate as violence continued in the Sahel.

The French Foreign Ministry said it received a letter from Burkinabe authorities in December asking the French ambassador to leave Burkina Faso.

A spokesman for the French Ministry confirmed to Reuters on Tuesday by email that it had received such a letter, but declined to provide further details or say how it had responded.

The Burkinabe government has declined to comment officially on reports it sent this request to Paris last month.

“We actually received a letter from the Burkinabe transitional government. This is not standard practice and we have no public comment to respond to,” a spokeswoman for the French Foreign Ministry said by email.

The whereabouts and status of French Ambassador Luc Hallade could not be immediately confirmed. The embassy in Ouagadougou declined to comment.

The expulsion clearly signals a further deterioration in relations between Burkina Faso and the former French colony, which maintains close ties with other former colonies in West Africa and has special forces stationed. over there.

Protests by opponents of Paris’ military presence increased last year, partly related to France’s inefficiency in tackling armed groups that have expanded their spheres of influence. theirs in recent years from neighboring Mali.

The prolonged insecurity led to political unrest and military coups in Mali – in August 2020 and May 2021 – and in Burkina Faso – in January and September 2022.

angry protesters target the French embassycultural center and military base in Burkina Faso on the day of the second coup and on November 18. The protesters demanded that France leave and called on the provisional military junta to ask Russia for help. help in the fight against the insurgents, as they are doing in Mali.

After the second coup in Ouagadougou, the government of Burkinabe accuse France support ousted military leader Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba in planning a counterattack.

In late December, the Burkinabe government ordered senior UN official Barbara Manzi leave the countryaccused her of painting a negative picture of the security situation.


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