Burkina Faso is not an "enemy" of the "French people", said Captain Ibrahim Traoré, transitional president, following a coup d'état, in an interview broadcast Wednesday evening by Radio Télévision du Burkina (RTB, public.
“We are not enemies with the French people, it is the policy of those who run France which poses a problem in Africa, so as long as a State is not in an imperialist spirit (…) there is no problem,” he said in this interview recorded on August 31.
“We must agree to look at each other as equals” and “we must agree to review all of our cooperation,” he added. Without naming it, he criticized France for having “given independence” and “placed people” at “the head of certain states”.
According to him, "we have led people to sign a lot of agreements (...) which prevent us from developing", adding that "imperialist states are not just France, there are others" he said without quoting them.
Captain Ibrahim Traoré, who came to power almost a year ago through a coup d'état, also questioned the effectiveness of the presence of French soldiers in Burkina Faso as part of the anti-jihadist fight, which he demanded the departure in January.
Burkina has since been seeking new cooperation. “We have new partners who support us in terms of equipment and other things,” he added, without naming them.
Burkina Faso's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olivia Rouamba, expressed her country's desire to "strengthen bilateral cooperation" with Iran on Monday during an interview in Tehran with President Ebrahim Raïssi.
A Russian delegation spoke with Mr. Traoré last week in Ouagadougou on questions of development and military cooperation and Captain Traoré went to Saint Petersburg in July for the Russia-Africa summit.
He reaffirmed his country's support for Niger, the scene of a coup d'état on July 26 with which Burkina shares the so-called "three borders" area between Mali, Niger, and Burkina, considered a den of jihadist groups.