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France Recalls Burkina Faso Ambassador 01/26 06:13

   

   PARIS (AP) -- The French foreign ministry said Thursday it is recalling its 
ambassador to Burkina Faso for consultations, one day after Paris decided to 
withdraw troops from the West African country following a demand by its 
military rulers.

   A top official at the foreign ministry said the decision has been made "in 
the context of the latest developments in Burkina Faso" in order to conduct 
"consultations on the state and perspectives of our bilateral cooperation" with 
Ambassador Luc Hallade. The official requested anonymity in line with the 
French government's customary practices.

   Burkina Faso's military junta had asked France to recall its ambassador 
earlier this month.

   France's foreign ministry said Wednesday that French troops deployed in 
Burkina Faso will have left the country within a month, in line with Burkina 
Faso's notification of the termination of the 2018 agreement on the presence of 
French troops on its soil.

   About 400 French special forces members were based in the country as part of 
a broader military deployment aimed at fighting extremists in Africa's Sahel 
region.

   Anti-French sentiment has grown in Burkina Faso, a former French colony, 
since junta leader Ibrahim Traore seized power in September. Traore has been 
more overtly open to working with other countries, notably Russia.

   The move by Burkina Faso's regime comes five months after France completed 
its withdrawal from Mali after nine years fighting Islamic extremists alongside 
regional troops.

   About 3,000 French soldiers are deployed in the Sahel region, most of them 
based in Chad and Niger.

 
 
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