Burkina Faso gives France army a month to leave the country

Ibrahim Traore
Ibrahim Traore, interim military leader of Burkina Faso

According to the French foreign ministry, France will remove its troops from Burkina Faso within a month of the country’s military leadership asking it to do so. This would further diminish France’s involvement in a region where armed groups are causing an increase in violence.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the French ministry said that it had been informed the day before that a 2018 agreement on the status of French troops in the country had been terminated.

“In accordance with the terms of the agreement, the denunciation takes effect one month after receipt of the written notification. We will comply with the terms of this agreement by complying with this request.”

About 200 to 400 special forces from France remain in its former colony.

The government wants the country to be able to defend itself, Ouagadougou said on Monday, thus it has opted to terminate a military agreement that permitted French forces to battle armed groups on its soil.

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The government of Burkina Faso reportedly suspended a 2018 military agreement with Paris on January 18, giving France one month to withdraw its troops, according to a report on national television on Saturday.

The perception that France hasn’t done enough to stop the violence that has spread in recent years from neighboring Mali, whose military rulers asked French forces to leave last year and instead deployed Russian private security contractors, has contributed to the rise in protests against the French military presence in Burkina Faso.