France is “determined to continue to accompany” Burkina Faso , which has been suffering from an unprecedented increase in violence with a jihadist majority for quite five years, French secretary of state Jean-Yves Le Drian said Friday in Ouagadougou.
“France is decided to continue to accompany Burkina Faso within the field of security and in its economic and social development policy,” Le Drian said after a “long discussion” with Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.
The minister said he was in Ouagadougou for a “support visit” after the re-election in November of President Kaboré who is beginning his second term.
Burkina Faso is, along side Mali and Niger, during a meeting among the countries most suffering from jihadism and violence in a conflict within the Sahel that has continued to spread since it began in 2012 in northern Mali.
At the start of 2020, following a series of deadly attacks against military camps of the three countries within the region referred to as the “three borders” between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, France and therefore the Sahelian countries decided together to intensify action.
“We have achieved success within the “three borders” area,” said Mr. Le Drian a year later, adding that “we will soon have the chance with the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad, editor’s note) and international partners to think about the continuation of the commitments we made in Pau”.
A summit is planned in N’Djamena in Chad in February.
France has been present within the Sahel since 2013. It currently has 5,100 troops engaged, but is currently examining this level of commitment.
At the top of December, five French soldiers died in an explosion of two artisanal mines a couple of days apart, bringing to 50 the amount of French soldiers killed within the region.
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