Burkina Faso authorities confirmed Monday (Jan. 23) that requested the departure of French troops based in Ouagadougou within a month.
The confirmation came a day after French President Emmanuel Macron requested "clarifications" in this latest episode of tensions between the two countries.
Here is a recap of the major political events that occurred in the Sahelian country since the first military coup in 2022.
On January 22, 2022, incidents broke out in Ouagadougou during demonstrations condemning the powerlessness of the authorities in the face of the jihadist insurgency that has ravaged the northern half of the country since 2015. The following day, soldiers mutinied to demand the departure of army leaders.
On January 24, 2022 officers announced that they had seized power and ousted President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba became the country's new strongman.
Ouagadougou took to the streets to celebrate the regime change, while the UN, France and Community of West African States (ECOWAS) condemned the military takeover.
Col Damiba sworn in
On February 10, 2022 Lieutenant Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba was declared president by the Constitutional Council and was sworn in on February 16.
From mid-March, deadly attacks by suspected jihadists increased.
In early July, West African leaders agreed with the junta on a two-year transition. On August 11, 2022 Kaboré was allowed to travel abroad for "medical reasons.
New military takeover
On the evening of September 30, 2022 after a day of fighting in the presidential district, some fifteen soldiers announced that Damiba had been overthrown in favour of Captain Ibrahim Traoré.
Brand new international condemnations ushered in.
On October 1, 2022, the army announced that it did not recognize the coup, and Damiba called on the coup plotters to "come to their senses."
They accused France of helping Damiba, but Paris denied it. Demonstrators then attacked French building, including the embassy and cultural center.
Traoré takes the lead
On October 2, 2022 Damiba eventually accepts to resign after he secured guarantees with Traoré and provided the new strong man respected a return to civilian rule within two years. The curfew was lifted and the borders reopened.
On October 14, 2022, Ibrahim Traoré was named transitional president until a presidential election scheduled for July 2024. He was inaugurated on October 21, 2022 setting himself the goal of "recapturing territory" lost to jihadist groups.
On October 28, 2022 several hundred of people demonstrated in Ouagadougou against the French presence in the country. On November 24, the army announced that more than 90,000 civilian volunteers had been enlisted to reinforce the fight against the jihadists.
Withdrawal of French troops
A letter from the foreign ministry, dated Wednesday (Jan.18, 2023), ends the 2018 agreement under which French troops were stationed in Burkina Faso, and sets a deadline of a month for their departure. The Burkinabe government confirmed the authenticity of the missive on Monday (Jan. 23, 2023).
On January 20, 2023 fresh protests took place in Ouagadougou with demonstrators demanding the expulsion of France's ambassador to Burkina Faso Luc Hallade. They also asked for the closing of French military base in Burkina were 400 special forces troops are stationned.