Chrysoula Zacharoulou “recalled that France is a constant partner, committed alongside Burkina Faso in full respect of its sovereignty”underlines the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press release.
This meeting comes a week after the French ministry confirmed having received a letter from the Burkinabè junta asking for the replacement of the French ambassador to Burkina Faso, Luc Hallade. The diplomat, in office since September 2019, is in the sights of the authorities after reporting on the deterioration of the security situation in Burkina, ravaged by jihadist attacks.
During her meeting with the interim president, who came to power after a coup d’etat at the end of September to overthrow a president who was himself a putschist, Ms Zacharopoulou recalled “France’s support in the fight against terrorism”.
“They discussed the strengthening of the partnership between France and Burkina Faso, in the field of security, humanitarian aid and development”the ministry added.
France recalls that “hundreds of thousands” people are displaced in Burkina and deplores the deadly attacks by jihadists against the civilian population and against the security forces.
This situation “must continue to mobilize everyone’s attention and the support of the international community”adds the ministry.
In recent months, Paris has repeatedly repeated that France was willing to continue the partnership with Ouagadougou, particularly in the military field, provided that this partnership is desired by the Burkinabè.
But the former colonial power is coming up against growing anti-French sentiment, as in other countries in the Sahel region where it has engaged militarily in the anti-jihadist fight.
In October, several hundred people demonstrated to demand France’s withdrawal from Burkina Faso.
On November 18, another demonstration against the French presence took place in front of the French embassy in Ouagadougou before moving to the Kamboisin military base, on the outskirts of the capital, where around 400 French special forces from the capital are stationed. Operation Saber, responsible for tracking down jihadist leaders in the Sahel.