Russia urged to take rightful place in Burkina-PM

The head of the transitional government gave an interview to the Russian channel, Rt France, during a "secret visit" to…

The head of the transitional government gave an interview to the Russian channel, Rt France, during a “secret visit” to Moscow. Broadcast on Tuesday, December 20, 2022, he called for the strengthening of relations between the two countries and invited Russia to become more involved in the fight against terrorism in Burkina.Burkina Faso wants Russia to become “an ally” in the fight against terrorism, “like all our partners,” said Mr. Apollinaire Kyelem de Tambela. He said he met with several Russian officials with whom he discussed the fight against jihadist groups that have been scouring the country for over seven years.

“Currently, the priority of priorities is the security field, so we discussed it. We hope that within a short time we will manage this problem, but beyond that, our relations must continue,” the Prime Minister said.

Apart from the security issue, Mr. Kyelem de Tambèla stressed the strengthening of “cooperative relations in all possible areas between Russia and Burkina Faso.”

He listed, among others, trade, culture, transport or health. “We would like these relations to be further strengthened, that is why I am here in Moscow,” he explained.

The head of the transitional government regretted that relations between the two nations had deteriorated after the fall of the Soviet Union, but also the change of regime in Burkina, referring to the assassination of Thomas Sankara in October 1987.

“Under President Thomas Sankara, relations were maintained between the Soviet Union and Burkina Faso (…). The Soviet company Aeroflotte came to Ouagadougou and all that stopped. There was an embassy, a Soviet cultural center in Burkina Faso and at some point, all that stopped,” lamented Apollinaire Kyelem of Tambela who pleaded especially for a reactivation of relations between the two nations.

Appolinaire Kyelem de Tambela considered that Russia is a great nation while it is “practically non-existent” in Burkina Faso.

“We would like Russia to take its rightful place as a great nation in my country, because there is an experience of Russia and we would like it to share that with us,” he added.

The Prime Minister’s declaration comes as Ouagadougou has been the scene of several protests demanding closer relations with Moscow since September 30, marking the seizure of power by Captain Ibrahim Traore after a short transition led by Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba.