France to withdraw its troops from Burkina Faso within a month
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According to a source from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs joined by RFI, France received on Tuesday from the Burkina Faso authorities the request to withdraw its soldiers deployed in the country. After Mali, it is the second country in the Sahel to force the French army to abandon its territory.
” We will abide by the terms of this agreement in complying with this request. “, declared the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in relation to the defense agreement signed with Burkina Faso in 2018 and in relation to the state of the French forces present in the country. With the denunciation of this text by the Board of Captain Ibrahim Traoré, and in accordance with the terms of this military agreement, France has a period of one month to complete the withdrawal of its soldiers that make up Operation Sabre. These are 400 special forces, housed at the Kamboinsin base, near Ouagadougou.
Earlier this week, Burkina Faso’s foreign minister, Olivia Rouamba, insisted that her country first wanted its own army and volunteers for homeland defense. On the same day, the government of Burkina Faso specified that it was the defense agreement that the transitional authorities were denouncing, but that it was not “ the end of diplomatic relations between the two countries “.
Leave the country in a month.
So what Barkhane managed to leave Mali in six months, now we will have to repeat this feat in Burkina Faso, in an even shorter period of one month. True, Saber is not Barkhane and Kamboinsin, his rear base in Ouagadougou, is in no way comparable to Gao’s in Mali. However, moving the 400 special forces in such a limited time will not be an easy task. It is even technically impossible. So, to achieve this, it is necessary to resort to subterfuge and within thirty days, the 400 soldiers will effectively leave the country.
On the other hand, dismantling and moving the hangars for the helicopters in particular will take time, up to three months. But it is not necessarily the French army that will be in charge of it, the task could, for example, be entrusted to civilian technicians. Paris is currently negotiating an agreement to this effect.
As for the special forces, one part should join Niger and the other Chad. A discreet presence, in line with the new philosophy of the French commitment in the Sahel. The Operation Saber name should also disappear.