France recalls its ambassador from Burkina Faso

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

“In the context of the latest developments in Burkina Faso, we have decided to recall our ambassador to Paris for consultations on the state and perspectives of our bilateral relations,” the foreign ministry said.

Burkina on Monday said it had asked France to withdraw within a month its contingent of some 400 troops currently stationed in the country and on Wednesday Paris agreed to do so.

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It marked the latest scaling down of France’s military presence in Africa after the junta in neighbouring Mali also insisted French troops leave and President Emmanuel Macron drew the curtain on the over decade-long anti-jihadist mission.

Both Mali and Burkina Faso fell out with Paris after a military coup brought a junta to power and the French presence became increasingly unpopular among the public.

Jihadist activity continues in the region while concern grows over the increasing influence of Russia, in particular through the presence of mercenaries from the Wagner Group run by an ally of President Vladimir Putin.

 

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