Ibrahim Traore, the military-backed president of Burkina Faso, has stated that Russian troops might be deployed to combat insurgencies in the West African country if the need arises. In an interview, Traore mentioned that Russia is offering logistical and tactical training, as well as expressing a willingness to supply any required weapons to Burkina Faso.
According to Traore, there are no restrictions on purchasing equipment from Russia, China, Turkey, or Iran, unlike some other countries. His remarks coincide with reports of approximately 100 Russian fighters being sent to Burkina Faso as military instructors last week.
This development raises speculation about Burkina Faso strengthening its security ties with Russia, similar to neighbouring Mali, where Russian Wagner mercenaries are known to operate. The junta-led country’s relationship with Moscow has been under scrutiny since the expulsion of French troops in early 2023.
Burkina Faso has been grappling with groups reportedly affiliated with al-Qaeda, which have seized significant territories and displaced millions of people in the broader Sahel region.