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World News | Burkina Faso junta expels French ambassador

World News | Burkina Faso junta expels French ambassador

DAKAR (Senegal), Jan. 3 (AP) Burkina Faso’s military junta expelled the French ambassador amid rising anti-French sentiment, authorities said Monday, as the West African country moves to fight the Russia develops closer ties.

Government spokesman Jean-Emmanuel Ouedraogo confirmed to The Associated Press that Ambassador Luc Hallade had been asked to leave, but gave no further details. The French embassy declined to comment.

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Harald’s deportation came less than two weeks after Barbara Manzi, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Burkina Faso, was also declared persona non grata.

Burkina Faso has been ravaged by violence linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State group, which has killed thousands and displaced nearly two million people.

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The current junta, which overthrew its predecessor last year, claimed it had not done enough to stop the fighting. A few months earlier, the previous junta had cited the same rationale to seize power from the civilian government.

Anti-French sentiment has been growing in the former French colony since the new military leader, Captain Ibrahim Traore, took power in September.

Traore is more open to cooperation with other countries, especially Russia. Burkina Faso Prime Minister Apollinaire Joachim Kelim de Tambera visited Russia last month to strengthen ties and consolidate efforts to combat extremists in the region, according to the Russian foreign ministry.

France sent troops to West Africa’s Sahel region in 2013 when it helped push Islamist extremists from power in northern Mali, but is facing growing resistance from local governments, which say French soldiers have been effective against jihadists little.

French troops left Mali last year after a breakdown in relations with the junta. Hundreds of French special forces are still stationed in Burkina Faso.

Harald’s ouster comes a year after Mali’s military junta also expelled the French ambassador to Mali.

While Burkina Faso’s military leaders have made restoring security a top priority, extremist attacks have continued and escalated.

Last week, a bus hit a roadside bomb in the east, killing at least 10 people. Jihadists have besieged towns, preventing people from moving freely and creating a humanitarian crisis that has pushed tens of thousands to starvation.

Analysts said the expulsion of the French envoy was not surprising as the junta is following in Mali’s footsteps and the question is whether Russia will now expand its influence in the region.

“This will obviously increase the polarization between (West African countries), between countries that oppose the junta’s policies and those that want to transition to democracy,” said Samuel Lamani, an associate research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute at the Institute for Defense and Security Research. Say. think tank. (Associated Press)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)

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