Protesters in Burkina Faso call for France's ambassador to leave

AFP - ISSOUF SANOGO

Demonstrators in Burkina Faso's capital on Friday demanded France's ambassador leave the country and called for the closure of a French military base, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.

Carrying placards with slogans such as "French army, get out", several hundred people gathered in a central Ouagadougou square.

Since 2015, Burkina Faso has been grappling with a jihadist insurgency that has killed thousands and displaced around two million people.

France has 400 special forces stationed in junta-ruled Burkina to battle the insurgency -- but relations have deteriorated in recent months.

France fears a repeat in Burkina of its disastrous falling-out with Mali.

French troops withdrew from Mali last year, after a 2020 coup in the former French colony saw its rulers inch closer to Russia.

Burkina Faso, also once under French rule, saw officers seize power in September in the second coup in eight months.

Rekindling ties with Russia has been on the agenda in Burkina since the coup.

Mohamed Sinon, one of the main leaders of the collective that called the demonstration, said it was to show support for the junta leader Captain Ibrahim Traore and the security forces fighting jihadists.

(with wires)


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