Burkina Faso’s military junta has demanded the defence attaché of the French embassy to leave the country owing to “subversive” actions, according to a leaked letter.
The removal of Attaché Emmanuel Pasquier is the most recent indication of rising hostilities between the West African country and its erstwhile colonial power France since a military administration took control in two coups last year.
Although France has kept close relations with its former colonies and has troops stationed all across West Africa, opposition to French presence has grown as a result of a series of military takeovers. Critics consider it to be interfering.
Pasquier and his staff were given two weeks to leave the country, according to the letter, which was dated September 14. Pasquier was still in the nation, according to a diplomatic source. The foreign ministry of France stated that it was investigating claims of the deportation.
The letter didn’t go into detail about Pasquier’s actions that led to his expulsion. It stated that the Burkina Faso embassy in Paris’ defence division had been shut down immediately.
The ambassador of France and senior UN employee Barbara Manzi have already been summoned to leave by the self-declared transitional government of Burkina Faso. French media has likewise been the target of a crackdown.
Since Burkina Faso initially became under military authority in January 2022, anti-French sentiment has been worse. There were a number of anti-French military demonstrations, some of them were sparked by concerns that France had not done enough to combat the Islamist insurgency that had recently expanded from Mali’s borders.
Since 2020, two military coups have occurred in Mali, two in Burkina Faso, and one in Niger as a result of the ongoing political unrest caused by the extended insecurity.
The French ambassador was ejected from Niger by the junta that took control of the country at the end of July.