Burkina Faso’s military leader vows to keep country sovereign

Burkina Faso's President of the Transition has spoken for the first time about the diplomatic row with France, without naming…

Burkina Faso’s President of the Transition has spoken for the first time about the diplomatic row with France, without naming it.Since coming to power in September 2022, he had left it to the Prime Minister, Me Apollinaire Kyelem de Tambela, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olivia Rouamba, to talk about diplomacy. 

For his first official visit to Bobo-Dioulasso, Captain Ibrahim Traore was adamant about his vision for international cooperation.

“We are not against anyone, but we just want to live and live with dignity in Burkina (…).We have decided to be sovereign. It is a struggle that will be bitter and hard, but we started it and we intend to go all the way,” Ibrahim Traore said.

According to him, it is a question of independence and sovereignty for Burkina. “This stipulates that some countries will have difficulty with this (…) but we must not let ourselves be manipulated,” the president of the transition hammered.

The captain’s remarks refer to the diplomatic row between Ouagadougou and Paris, which he described as a difference of opinion, without naming France.

At the end of December 2022, Burkina requested the departure of the French ambassador accredited to Ouagadougou, Luc Hallade, after “a loss of confidence. The diplomat had urged his compatriots to leave the country’s third largest city, Koudougou, because of insecurity. In mid-December, the authorities expelled two French citizens suspected of spying on the army.

Also in December, the government expelled UN system coordinator Barbara Manzi. She was accused of wanting to remove non-essential UN staff in Ouagadougou.

Captain Ibrahim Traore also spoke about relations between Burkina and its neighbors. “With our neighbors in the sub-region, I would say that things are going well, better with some and average with others,” he said.

The country has moved closer to Mali, against the backdrop of a rapprochement with Russia, a country the Head of Government went to for a visit in early December.

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