France decides to withdraw its troops due to unrest in Burkina Faso

On November 10, 2019, a French Army soldier keeps watch over a rural area in northern Burkina Faso during the Bark...

The military authorities in Burkina Faso requested that France remove all of its personnel from the nation, and France has complied.

Burkina Faso claims it wants to defend itself as it fights a jihadist insurgency at the moment.

There are currently 400 French special forces in Burkina Faso, and they have one month to leave.

French troops had spent eight years battling Islamist militants in Mali, a neighboring country, before they left there last year.

In West Africa, many of France's former colonies have maintained close military ties, and as part of the now-defunct Operation Barkhane, France has been assisting a number of these nations in their efforts to combat jihadist activity there.

However, due to its ongoing economic ties, Russia has been able to capitalize on some resentment of its role.

Currently, Wagner, a Russian mercenary group, is cooperating with both Mali and the Central African Republic.

A liaison team from the mercenaries has already visited, according to the AFP news agency, but Burkina Faso has denied reports that it will join the Wagner Group in its fight against the jihadists.

A representative of the French foreign ministry acknowledged that the Burkinabe government had sent a formal request for its troops to depart.

The spokesperson stated, "We will abide by this request and uphold the terms of the Agreement.".

A decade-long insurgency in Burkina Faso has driven nearly two million people from their homes.

Most recently, suspected jihadists abducted about 60 women who were gathering food in the country's north, and at the beginning of the month, the bodies of 28 people who had been murdered by gunfire were discovered in the town of Nouna in the region's northwest. The women were later released.

Since Capt Ibrahim Traoré took over in Burkina Faso in September, there has been widespread rumor that he may begin working with Russian mercenaries, which neighboring Ghana has called "distressing.".

Capt. Traoré has pledged to retake territory from the jihadists and to hold democratic elections in July 2024.

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