March 3, 2024

France ends development aid, budget support to Burkina Faso

 The French government has suspended all development aid and budget support to Burkina Faso with immediate effect.

The French Foreign Ministry said this on X, formerly Twitter.

This is coming after the military governments in Mali and Burkina Faso declared that any armed intervention against the coup leaders in neighbouring Niger by the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, would be seen as a declaration of war.

Ecowas is yet to make a statement on the next line of action which includes military intervention after its one week deadline issued to the junta to release the ousted President, Mohamed Bazoum, ended on Sunday.

Earlier in April, Burkina Faso’s junta expelled hundreds of French troops from the country in a move indicating a robust relationship with Russia, including the mercenary outfit, the Wagner Group.

According to observers, countries that use Wagner Group fighters frequently refer to them as Russian instructors.

Wagner, established by a Russian rich businessman, Yevgeny Prigozhin, an ally to President Vladimir Putin, has deployed roughly 1,000 forces in Mali for more than a year. It also has forces in the Central African Republic among other countries.

Since junta commander Capt. Ibrahim Traore seized power in September, anti-French feeling has increased in the former colony.

Two French journalists were ejected from the country without explanations in April. In March, France 24 was suspended for interviewing a prominent rebel, and months before, the government suspended French broadcaster Radio France Internationale for relaying a “intimidation message” ascribed to a “terrorist,” according to the Associated Press.

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