Burkina Faso confirms deadline for withdrawal of French troops

© OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT / AFP

Burkina Faso on Monday confirmed that the authorities in the capital, Ouagadougou, have asked France to pull its troops out of the insurgency-hit country within a month.

"We are terminating the agreement which allows French forces to be in Burkina Faso. This is not the end of diplomatic relations between Burkina Faso and France," spokesman Jean-Emmanuel Ouedraogo told the government controlled Radio-Television Burkina.

"Burkina is capable of protecting itself," he added.

"This termination is normal and is foreseen in the terms of the agreement," the spokesman said.

The junta and all the country wanted "to be the prime actors in the recapture of our territory".

Burkina Faso's state news agency originally unveiled the request late on Saturday.

Defeating jihadists a top priority

France has 400 special forces soldiers stationed in junta-ruled Burkina to battle an Islamist insurgency, which spread from neighbouring Mali in 2015. Relations between the French and the local military junta have deteriorated in recent months.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday said Paris was awaiting clarifications from Ouagadougou over the pullout call.

(with wires)


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