Burkina Faso civil groups demand an end to French military cooperation
A coalition of Burkina Faso civil society organizations held a rally in the West African nation to call for the termination of military cooperation with former colonial power France.
The civil society coalition, composed of more than 72 members, called on the new Burkina Faso authorities to end French military cooperation in favor of Russian support to curb terrorism.
"We contest the installations of foreign armed forces that no longer deserve our trust on our soil. We demand the cancellation of the colonial agreements that have kept us in stalemate for years," said Soumaila Nana, the head of the coalition told AFP.
"For years, France, our colonizer, has been here in Burkina Faso believing that it is fighting to defend our interests, but it is the opposite. France is in Burkina Faso plundering our wealth and also creating terrorism by supplying arms to the terrorists and it is these same terrorists who are fighting our soldiers on the frontline," said Lassané Sawadogo, Coordinator, Homeland Defence Front.
In recent months, Russia has been making inroads to several African countries through its private security firm Wagner with an aim of stabilizing security in the rebel and jihadist hit nations like the Central African Republic and Mali.
"But we take into account Russia because, in the whole world, it is Russia that has worked positively to remove the terrorist hydra in Syria, Venezuela, Central African Republic and neighboring Mali where we see positive progress," said Ousmane Ouedraogo, another coalition leader.