1: france has agreed to a request from burkina faso’s military leaders to withdraw all of its troops from the country. there are currently 400 french special forces in burkina faso, and france had previously been helping several west african countries fight against islamist militants through operation barkhane. last year, france also left neighbouring mali, where its troops had spent eight years fighting.
paragraph 2: the burkinabã¨ government sent a written request for the french troops to leave, and france has agreed to respect the terms of the agreement. the decade-long insurgency has forced nearly two million people from their homes, and most recently, suspected jihadists kidnapped around 60 women who were foraging for food in the north of the country. at the start of the month, bodies of 28 people who had been shot dead were found in the north-western town on nouna. the women have since been released.
paragraph 3: since capt ibrahim traorã© seized power in burkina faso in september, there has been speculation that he might start working with russian mercenaries, which neighbouring ghana described as “distressing”. capt traorã© has promised to win back territory from the jihadists, and to hold democratic elections in july 2024. france’s continued economic links have led to some resentment of its role, which russia has tapped into. operation barkhane has been terminated, and france will now honour the request to withdraw its troops.