The French foreign ministry announced that France will remove its troops from Burkina Faso within a month of the country’s military leaders asking it to do so. This will further reduce France’s involvement in a region that is experiencing an increase in armed group violence.
The French ministry said in a statement issued on Wednesday that it had been informed the day before that a 2018 agreement regarding the status of French troops in the nation had been cancelled.
“In accordance with the terms of the agreement, the denunciation takes effect one month after receipt of the written notification. We will comply with the terms of this agreement by complying with this request.”
About 200 to 400 special forces from France remain in its former colony. The administration wants the nation to be able to defend itself, Ouagadougou stated on Monday, thus it has opted to terminate a military agreement that permitted French troops to fight armed groups on its soil.
The government of Burkina Faso reportedly cancelled a 2018 military agreement with Paris on January 18, allowing France one month to withdraw its troops, according to a report on national television on Saturday.
The perception that France hasn’t done enough to stop the violence that has spread in recent years from neighboring Mali, whose military rulers asked French forces to leave last year and instead deployed Russian private security contractors, has contributed to the rise in protests against the French military presence in Burkina Faso.
One of the most impoverished and unstable nations in Africa is Burkina Faso. Since 2015, when fighters affiliated with al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) launched a violent campaign from the neighboring country of Mali, tens of thousands of soldiers, police officers, and civilians have died and approximately two million people have left their homes.
The government cannot control more than a third of the nation, and anger within the army at the rising death toll sparked two coups last year.
The special troops could be relocated to Niger, where a sizable contingent of French and European personnel are now stationed, according to French diplomatic and defense sources. In the Chad, Paris has a sizable military presence as well.
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