According to the daily Le Monde, which quotes “several sources” unidentified, this request would be linked to a letter sent by Luc Hallade to the French nationals of Koudougou on December 12, 2022.
In this letter partially broadcast on Twitter, the ambassador invited his compatriots living in Koudougou to leave this city, located 100 kilometers west of Ouagadougou, and to “relocate” in the capital or in Bobo-Dioulasso (south-west).
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Burkina would have requested the change of interlocutor in a letter sent at the end of December to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to Le Monde and the weekly Jeune Afrique.
Asked by AFP, the Quai d’Orsay confirmed that it had “indeed received a letter from the Burkinabe transitional authorities”.
“This is not a usual approach and we have no public comment to make in response”said a spokesperson, refusing to give details on the content of this letter.
40% of Burkinabe territory controlled by the state
Relations between the two countries have become difficult as Burkina has been facing attacks by jihadists linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) group since 2015. These attacks left thousands dead and at least two million displaced and are partly behind two military coups in 2022.
Jihadists now control 40% of Burkinabe territory.
At the end of November, Luc Hallade recalled the presence of the 400 members of the French special forces in Ouagadougou, assuring that they would remain there “as long as the Burkinabè authorities wish”.
A few months earlier, he had reported on the deterioration of the security situation in Burkina.
Hearing by representatives of the French Senate on the political and security crisis in Burkina Faso on July 5, Luc Hallade felt that “the government’s lack of results” in the fight against terrorism was causing growing frustration in the country. “recalls Le Monde.
The ambassador also described the violence ravaging the country as an “endogenous conflict” and a “civil war”. Words judged “quite serious” by the Burkinabè Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 21, which then called on Luc Hallade to “more shades”according to the daily.