France may withdraw its forces from Burkina Faso's capital: Le Monde
Le Monde says France may withdraw its forces from Ouagadougou, a few days after Burkina Faso's government asked France's envoy to leave the country.
France may withdraw its special military forces stationed at a base in the Burkinabe capital of Ouagadougou over stalled defense cooperation, French newspaper Le Monde reported on Saturday, citing sources.
The newspaper said France was reviewing the issue of future military cooperation with Burkina Faso, with the base in Ouagadougou, where the French military has been deployed since 2011, being on the agenda of the discussions.
The newspaper reported that despite the increasing number of insurgencies, from which Burkina Faso has been seeking protection by deploying French troops, both countries' cooperation on the defense agreement has come to a deadlock.
According to the report, the office of French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu has not confirmed reports that Paris made a decision to pull out its troops from Burkina Faso in February, claiming that France has not decided on the matter yet.
Relations between Burkina Faso and France have been worsening in light of its failure to contain terrorist groups and activities across the country. France has previously occupied the country and ruled it with an iron fist while still intervening in its internal affairs to this day.
On Tuesday, Le Monde reported that Burkina Faso's military government had asked French Ambassador Luc Hallade to leave the country for allegedly telling his compatriots to move out of one of the Burkinabe cities due to security concerns.
Over the past year, Burkina Faso saw a number of political instabilities, with two governments subsequently overthrown over the course of nine months.
In October, Ibrahim Traore was sworn in as head of the transitional government of Burkina Faso in front of the country's constitutional council.
In late September, Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, the leader of an interim government who came to power through a coup in early 2022, was ousted by a group of military officers led by Traore in what became the second military takeover in the country in eight months. Damiba himself had overthrown elected President Roch Marc Christian Kabore in January 2022.
It is noteworthy that the UN warned in October 2022 that 4.9 million people, or a fifth of Burkina Faso's population, are in urgent need of aid, citing the fact that many "mothers were compelled to feed their children with leaves and salt."
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