France recalls ambassador to Burkina Faso

France announced on Thursday that it would recall its ambassador from Burkina Faso, a day after agreeing to the ruling military junta’s demands to withdraw troops from former French colonies in the Sahel region of Africa.

“In light of recent developments in Burkina Faso, we have decided to recall the ambassador to Paris to discuss the status and prospects of bilateral relations,” the foreign ministry said.

Burkina Faso said on Monday it had asked France to withdraw the about 400 troops currently stationed in the country within a month, and on Wednesday Paris agreed to do so.

The military junta in neighboring Mali has also insisted on withdrawing French troops, marking the latest reduction in France’s military presence in Africa after President Emmanuel Macron ended more than a decade of anti-jihadist mandates. rice field.

Mali and Burkina Faso both broke with Paris after military coups took power, and France’s presence became increasingly unpopular with the public.

Jihadist activity continues in the region, raising concerns about Russia’s growing influence, particularly through the presence of mercenaries from the Wagner Group, which is run by allies of President Vladimir Putin.

Burkina Faso is one of the poorest and most unstable countries in Africa.

Since jihadists revolted from neighboring Mali in 2015, thousands of troops, police and civilians have been killed and nearly two million have been forced from their homes.

More than a third of the country is not under government control, and dissatisfaction within the military over mounting casualties has sparked two coups last year. France recalls ambassador to Burkina Faso

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