France will withdraw its troops from Burkina Faso within
, the French Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, after being officially informed on Tuesday by the junta of the denunciation of the defense agreements binding the two countries.
“Tuesday (…) we formally received the denunciation, by the Burkinabè government, of the 2018 agreement relating to the status of the French forces present in this country.
In accordance with the terms of the agreement, the denunciation takes effect one month after the receipt of the written notification”
, declared to AFP the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, assuring that France
“respect (has) the terms of this agreement by complying with this request".
400 French special forces
Burkina currently hosts a contingent of nearly 400 French special forces, the Saber force.
The latter will have left the country
"by the end of February"
and the removal of all equipment should be completed
"at the end of April"
, a source familiar with the matter told AFP.
The Burkinabè government confirmed on Monday that it had requested the departure of the French soldiers based in the country within a month, but Paris had replied that it was waiting for clarifications from the transitional president Ibrahim Traoré.
“What we denounce is the agreement that allows French forces to be present in Burkina Faso. It's not about the end of diplomatic relations between Burkina Faso and France
“What we denounce is the agreement that allows French forces to be present in Burkina Faso.
It's not about the end of diplomatic relations between Burkina Faso and France
," Burkinabe government spokesman Jean-Emmanuel Ouédraogo said Monday midday in an interview on Radio-Télévision du Burkina (RTB). ).
France, a former colonial power, has been contested in Burkina for several months.
In December, the Burkinabè authorities had asked Paris to replace the French ambassador, Luc Hallade, in their crosshairs, in particular for having reported on the deterioration of the security situation in the country.
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Monday, Jean-Emmanuel Ouédraogo indicated that the government had
“received all the assurances that the French authorities will accede to this request this week”.
But according to a diplomatic source, his fate is not yet sealed and he is still in Ouagadougou.
The Malian precedent is in everyone's mind.
After nine years of presence, the French soldiers left the country last summer, pushed out by a hostile junta which appealed to the sulphurous Russian paramilitary company Wagner.
Behind the scenes, the Burkinabè junta assures France that it does not intend to enlist the services of Wagner, whose liaison team has come to prospect in Burkina, rich in mineral resources, according to several French sources.