The military chief of Burkina Faso demands that France leave
The military government of Burkina Faso has mandated the departure of hundreds of French troops within a month.
The announcement was made on Saturday by the national broadcaster RTB, who cited the Burkinabe government’s official information agency. According to the news agency, the decision to end France’s military presence on Burkinabe soil was made on Wednesday.
The action was taken five months after France finished its nine-year fight alongside local forces against Islamist rebels in Mali.
Anti-French protesters there started urging the junta to strengthen ties with Russia after the second coup there last year. Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group, who have been charged with widespread human rights violations both there and elsewhere, have already been hired by Mali.
However, France has continued to have close economic and humanitarian aid ties with its former colony more than 60 years after Burkina Faso gained its independence.
Those who had grown impatient with France were relieved to hear the announcement on Saturday.