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Niger: after the coup, Burkina wants "closer cooperation"

Niger: after the coup, Burkina wants "closer cooperation"
With the headquarters of the ruling party burning in their backs,   -  
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Fatahoulaye Hassane Midou/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso, led by a transitional government resulting from a putsch, on Thursday, wanted "closer cooperation" with neighbouring Niger where soldiers overthrew the democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, in power since 2021.

"Niger is a brother country, the people of Niger are a brother people of the people of Burkina Faso. In this, it is obvious that all the situations that may concern Niger affect Burkina Faso in one way or another", said declared on public television the Minister of Communication, Rimtalba Jean Emmanuel Ouédraogo.

"We are attentive to the latest events taking place in Niger with the concern, the hope, that this country can truly find serenity", he underlined.

"Our wish is that truly we can all together join in a dynamic of closer partnerships, closer cooperation and above all that we can together assume in a sovereign manner this historic fight against armed terrorist groups and for the restoration of peace. dignity of our peoples," he added.

Ouédraogo, also a government spokesman, said he was "convinced that we, the Sahel countries, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali, must assume our responsibilities", he said.

Burkina Faso and Mali are ruled by military coup leaders who seized power there in August 2020 and January 2022 respectively and both face violence from jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, while like Nigeria.

After its two neighbours, Niger, hitherto an ally of Western countries, becomes the third country in the Sahel undermined by jihadist attacks, to experience a coup since 2020.

In Burkina Faso, as soon as he came to power in a coup d'etat in September 2022 - the second in eight months - Captain Ibrahim Traoré and his government expressed their desire to diversify their partnerships in the fight against jihadism, by particularly with Russia, after having asked in mid-January for the departure of French troops in the name of "sovereignty".

Bamako has also pushed out the French troops present in Mali since 2013 and has turned to Russia to help it fight these groups, in particular with the presence of Russian instructors who, according to Western countries, are mercenaries from the Wagner paramilitary group.

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