Burkina Faso tells France to pull its armed forces out
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The military government of Burkina Faso, led by Captain Ibrahim Traore, requested France to pull out its armed forces. In a similar feel to Mali, several regional nations seek a new approach to tackling the Islamist threat and to start a new path outside the clutches of France.
It is understood that Burkina Faso expects the armed forces of France to leave within the month. Hence, it is another retreat of France from the body politic of Burkina Faso.
President Emmanuel Macron of France said there was “great confusion.” Accordingly, he recommended “prudence.”
Macron continued, “We are waiting for clarifications on the part of Mr. Traore.”
However, Burkina Faso and Mali seek a fresh approach to tackling the Islamist threat. Thus some regional nations seek closer ties with the Russian Federation and to break free from the colonial links of the enforced history.
Kassoum Coulibaly, the Defence Minister of Burkina Faso, recently said, “Every citizen should be aware that this is essentially a war in which our common destiny is at stake, meaning the survival of our nation.”
At the international level, regional and international nations that fear the growing rise of Islamist forces throughout the Sahel region need to support Burkina Faso. Nations that support Burkina Faso also need to listen to the military demands of this country – and provide military equipment to assist the national army and the VDP (Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland).
Stars and Stripes reports, “Anti-French sentiment has grown in Burkina Faso, a former French colony, since Traore seized power in September. Traore has been more overtly open to working with other countries, notably Russia.”
Chad and Niger are likely to be the increasing cornerstones of French foreign policy throughout the region and where the armed forces of France can maintain military bases.
Islamists recently kidnapped 66 women and children.
BBC reports, “Security forces in Burkina Faso have rescued 66 women and children after they were kidnapped by suspected militant jihadists in the north of the country last week, state TV reports.“
Since 2015, Burkina Faso has been blighted by Islamist forces linked to ISIS (Islamic State – IS) and al-Qaeda. Christians have also been targeted since this period. Therefore, approximately two million people have been uprooted and tens of thousands have been killed.
Burkina Faso faces an uphill struggle to contain the crisis because of the regional dynamics of this part of Africa. Several regional nations are also blighted by ongoing Islamist insurgencies, ethnic divisions, political tensions, poverty, internal refugees, and limited infrastructures to tackle the needs of the people.
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