Burkina Faso gives French troops one month to leave country
Popular demonstrations in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, have been the latest expression of growing anti-French sentiment across the West African country.
Burkina Faso has notified Paris that the French army must leave the country within a month, as per the state news agency AIB.
"The Burkinabe government last Wednesday denounced the accord which has governed, since 2018, the presence of French armed forces on its territory," AIB said, stressing that authorities had given France a month to complete its pull-out.
A source close to the government claimed it was "not the severance of relations with France. The notification only concerns military cooperation agreements."
France has 400 special forces troops stationed in junta-ruled Burkina to allegedly combat an Islamist insurgency, but ties have soured in recent months.
According to sources acquainted with the matter, France's preferred option would be to transfer its forces to the south of neighboring Niger, where approximately 2,000 French troops are currently stationed.
The military junta, commanded by Captain Ibrahim Traore, took power last September in the former French colony's second coup in eight months.
French forces withdrew from Mali last year after a 2020 coup.
Popular demonstrations in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, on Friday, are the latest expression of growing anti-French sentiment across the West African country.
Protesters chanted anti-France slogans and held banners calling on the French army to leave the country.
A protestor called and said, "We want to show France that we don't need it anymore."
Burkina Faso's gov't asks French Ambassador to leave country
Earlier, on January 3, Burkina Faso's government asked the French Ambassador to leave the country after he asked his compatriots to move out of a city due to security concerns, French newspaper Le Monde reported, citing sources.
Luc Hallade, who has served since 2019 as ambassador, was asked to leave Burkina Faso in a letter that the country's government sent in late December to the French Foreign Ministry, according to Le Monde, which sources in the African nation's government confirmed the content of the letter.
The newspaper also stated that the authorities did not provide any reasons for the decision, while some sources said the Foreign Ministry decided to take such action against Hallade due to a letter he sent to French citizens in early December asking the French people to move out of the city of Kodagu due to security reasons.