Burkina Faso marks official end of French military operations on its soil
France and Burkina Faso have officially marked the end of French military operations in the West African nation, the Burkinabe armed forces said on Sunday (19 February), after a flag-lowering ceremony at the French special forces’ camp a day earlier.
Their departure marks a new chapter in Burkina’s battle with Islamist groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State, which have taken over large swathes of land and displaced millions of people in the wider Sahel region, just south of the Sahara.
The French armed forces ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
Paris says Burkina Faso requested withdrawal of French ambassador
The French foreign ministry on Tuesday (3 January) said it had received a letter from the Burkinabe authorities in December requesting the departure of Frances’s ambassador from Burkina Faso – a move the ministry called “not standard practice.”
Over the past week, a small group of anti-French protesters has met each evening in Ouagadougou to watch out for signs of French withdrawal.
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