Burkina terminates 1961 military assistance pact with ex-colonizer
The Burkinabe Foreign Ministry advised the French government that the country was "renouncing the technical military assistance agreement concluded in Paris on April 24, 1961," dated Tuesday.
Burkina Faso has terminated a 1961 military assistance deal with France, just weeks after telling the French ambassador and troops allegedly backing its anti-insurgency campaign to leave the nation.
The Burkinabe Foreign Ministry advised the French government that the country was "renouncing the technical military assistance agreement concluded in Paris on April 24, 1961" dated Tuesday, AFP reported, as per the correspondence.
The agreement was reached between Burkina Faso, once known as the Republic of Upper Volta, and its long-time colonizer, France.
In the correspondence, seen by AFP on Wednesday, the Ministry said Burkina Faso was giving one month's notice for "the ultimate departure of all French military troops operating in Burkinabe military administrations."
The decision represents a further deterioration in ties since the military deposed Burkina's elected President last year.
This comes as France's relations with several ex-colonies are in a downward spiral, which is also mirrored in the deterioration of ties between France and neighboring Mali.
Captain Ibrahim Traore, the world's youngest leader outside of monarchies, is the most recent ruler. He has promised to reclaim land captured by militants, but, like in Mali, he has prioritized national sovereignty over strategy.
Tensions with France at the political level in both nations have been accompanied by anti-French demonstrations and social media criticism.
Burkina Faso requested that France expel its ambassador, Luc Hallade, after he made remarks concerning the country's security issues. He was pulled out for consultations, ostensibly.
Burkina Faso also gave France a month to withdraw a 400-man special forces battalion deployed near the city. Last month, the French flag was lowered from the base.
This year, France withdrew the last of its troops from Mali, completing a breakup that was partly precipitated by the junta's developing partnership with Russia.
As part of a military control project in the Sahel region, around 400 French troops were based in the country. The ex-colonizer withdrew its troops from Mali last August, as France's mission included 5,100 troops from five former French ex-colonies in the Sahel region: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.
It is worth noting that France sent troops to the western African country in 2013, under the pretense of defeating militants in northern Mali and the Sahel, which never happened, considering the increasing number of operations targeting Malian forces. The operation ended in February following the deterioration of France's ties with its ex-colony.
The forces have played critical roles in air power, troop transport, and reconnaissance. France has an air base in Niamey, Niger's capital, where drones are stationed.