Wed, 22 Mar 2023

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso: As Burkina Faso, in western Africa, faces an Islamist insurgency, it is set to end a military accord allowing French troops to fight insurgents on its territory, as the government wants the country to defend itself.

Groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have taken over large swathes of land and displaced millions of people in the wider Sahel region, just south of the Sahara.

The national television station reported this week that the government had suspended a 2018 military accord with Paris on January 18, giving France one month to pull its troops out of the. country.

Meanwhile, French president Emmanuel Macron said he was awaiting clarifications from Burkina Faso's transitional president, Ibrahim Traore, about the decision.

"At the current stage, we don't see how to be more clear than this," said government spokesman Rimtalba Jean Emmanuel Ouedraogo, speaking on national television.

He said the decision was not linked to any particular event, but that it was the "normal order of things" for France to hand over responsibility to Burkina Faso for its own defense. The one-month deadline is part of the military agreement, he added.

"This is not the end of diplomatic relations between Burkina Faso and France," said Ouedraogo, adding that his country still wanted support in the form of military equipment.

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