Burkina Faso confirms demand that French troops leave

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The Burkina Faso government clarified on Monday that it has asked ex-colonial ruler France to pull its troops out of the insurgency-hit country within a month.

France deploys about 400 Special Forces soldiers in junta-ruled Burkina, but relations have deteriorated and tensions have soared in recent months.

"We are terminating the agreement which allows French forces to be in Burkina Faso," government spokesman Jean-Emmanuel Ouedraogo told Radio-Television du Burkina.

"This is not the end of diplomatic relations between Burkina Faso and France," 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", he said, echoing coup leader Captain Ibrahim Traore's rallying call to reclaim as a top priority swaths of land occupied by jihadists.

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

AFP obtained on Sunday a copy of the Burkinabe foreign ministry's letter sent to Paris and dated last Wednesday asking to "terminate and close the agreement in its entirety".

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

'Can't be any clearer'

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