Burkina Faso has decided to repatriate fourteen military trainees undergoing training in Côte d'Ivoire, according to a memo from the Burkinabe army staff consulted by AFP on Thursday, in a new sign of tensions between the two neighboring countries.
Burkinabe military trainees" undergoing training in "the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire (...) will be en route to Burkina Faso", says a note from the chief of staff of the Burkinabe armed forces, Colonel Major Célestin Simporé.
Attached to this message, dated October 24, is a list of the names of fourteen Burkinabe trainees, all students between the sixth and final grades at the Ecole militaire préparatoire technique (EMPT) in Bingerville, a town near Abidjan.
These students will continue their education at the Kamboinsin military academy (PMK), near Ouagadougou," writes Colonel-Major Simporé.
This repatriation marks a new episode of tension between Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire.
On September 19, two Ivorian gendarmes were arrested on Burkinabe territory, while on a clandestine gold-panning site. Since then, discussions have been underway between Abidjan and Ouagadougou for their release.
In addition, the two countries are negotiating the demarcation of the 600 km border between them, which is difficult to establish because it has not been physically demarcated.
This situation could explain the arrests of members of the Ivorian defense and security forces on the border between the two countries.
Back in March, three Ivorian police officers were arrested in Burkina Faso, before being quickly released.
Interviewed on national television at the end of September, Burkina Faso's transitional president, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, who came to power in a coup d'état on September 30, 2022, assured the audience that "there are no problems" between "the Burkinabe and Ivorian peoples".