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Burkina scraps 61-year old military assistance deal with France

Burkina scraps 61-year old military assistance deal with France
French soldiers patrol the Tofa Gala forest area during the Barkhane counter terrorism operation in northern Burkina Faso on Nov. 9, 2016.   -  
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Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso scrapped a 1961 agreement on military assistance with France, a move that comes only weeks after it told the French ambassador and troops supporting its anti-jihadist campaign to exit the country.

According to a correspondence, dated Tuesday (Feb. 28) and consulted by the AFP on Wednesday, the Burkinabe foreign ministry adressing Paris "denounced the technical military assistance agreement reached in Paris on April 24, 1961 [...]" as well as the deal's two "appendixes".

The agreement was forged between the then newly independent Republic of Upper Volta, as Burkina Faso used to be called, and its former colonial ruler.

The Burkinabe Foreign ministry said the Sahelian nation was giving a one month's notice for "the final departure of all French military personnel serving in Burkinabe military administrations." 

On January 18, Burkina demanded France to withdraw its ambassador, Luc Hallade, after he made comments about the country's security problems. He was pulled out, "for consultations."

On February 19, the French flag was lowered on a base which hosted a special forces unit of 400 French men near the capital.

The move marks a further downward spiral in relations since the military toppled Burkina's elected president last year.

As the new authorities in charges said they wished to "diversify their parternships", including in the fight against terrorism.

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