Rising anger in West Africa over continued French military presence
There is rising anger in the West Africa region over continued French military presence. Recently angry masses in Burkina Faso and Niger attempted to top a French military convoy heading to Mali.
Last month, a convoy of French troops heading north to support the fight against Islamist militants was repeatedly blockaded by protesters as it crossed Burkina Faso and Niger.
Among progressive West African commentators and urban youth, it is now commonplace to hear calls for the abolition of the CFA franc - the regional currency used by many francophone countries and which is pegged to the euro under a French government guarantee.
Its critics say this enables France to control the economies of those countries which use it, while France says it guarantees economic stability.
Observers also accuse France of pursuing neo-colonialism in Africa, falsely claiming to fight terrorism as a pretext to maintain its influence in the region.
African nations that suffered under French colonial rule
still remember France's colonial- era crimes, despite the passage of decades
since their independence from Paris.