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Demonstrators demand France withdrawal from Burkina Faso

Demonstration in Ouagadougou (January 2023)   -  
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Burkina Faso

Hundreds of people in Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou, marched to demand the departure of the French ambassador to the country.

The demonstration was called by the Pan-African Leaders Collective, a political group that includes organizations who support Captain Ibrahim Traore, in power since the end of September.

The participants want the withdrawal of the 400 French special forces stationed in the country.

''The French ambassador, we want him to go back, the soldiers in Kamboinsin, we all want them to go back. Let them free Burkina", demanded demonstrator Abdoul Karim Sawadogo.

Another demonstrator, Souleymane Sawadogo, goes further.

"We are Burkina Faso, an independent country. Burkina Faso is a sovereign country. We have decided, we want to lead this fight, the war we are currently waging, Burkina Faso has decided to lead the fight with good partners (editor’s note: Russia). And we feel that France is not the ideal partner to accompany us to the final victory", he said.

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

Since last year's coup in September that strengthening ties with Russia has become a priority for Burkina Faso.

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