4 French officers arrested in Ouagadougou | EUROtoday

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LTense relations between France and Burkina Faso proceed. Four French civil servants, intelligence brokers in keeping with a Burkinabè supply, laptop upkeep technicians in keeping with a French diplomatic supply, had been arrested in Ouagadougou originally of December, Agence France Presse discovered on Tuesday night, December 19.

“We are in the process of verifying the real field work of four French nationals presented as agents of the DGSE (External Intelligence, editor’s note). They are currently before investigators,” stated the Burkinabè supply.

For its half, a French diplomatic supply declared to Agence France Presse that “on December 1, four French officials, holders of diplomatic passports and visas, were arrested in Ouagadougou by the Burkinabè police. These four technicians were in Burkina Faso to carry out a computer maintenance operation for the benefit of the French embassy. “On December 14, they were indicted and transferred to the Ouagadougou detention and correction center,” she continued, specifying that “the French consulate general was able to exercise consular protection and return them visit “.

“The French government takes note of the ongoing legal proceedings, but rejects the accusations that these technicians were sent to Burkina Faso for reasons other than their computer maintenance work. He requests their return to France without delay,” concludes this diplomatic supply. According to a European diplomatic supply, these French individuals “are known to their Burkinabè colleagues”.

France has now not had an envoy in Burkina Faso since September 2022

The journal Jeune Afrique wrote on Tuesday that the 4 males are accused of “espionage”. “The sister country of Togo is helping to find a solution,” the Burkinabe supply additionally indicated. Relations between France and Burkina have deteriorated significantly since Captain Ibrahim Traoré got here to energy in September 2022 in a coup – the second in eight months.

Ouagadougou denounced a 1961 army settlement with France in March, after acquiring the withdrawal of French forces. The French ambassador to Ouagadougou, recalled after the coup d’état of September 2022, has not been changed since. Burkina Faso has additionally suspended a number of French media together with The worldRadio France Internationale, France 24, Jeune Afrique, and LCI.

In its need to diversify its partnerships, Burkina Faso has notably moved nearer to Russia this yr. In addition to a rapprochement within the army area, Russia has notably promised to construct a nuclear energy plant in Burkina. In November, Ouagadougou was one of many first African international locations to obtain free Russian cereals, as promised just a few months earlier by Vladimir Putin.

Burkina has additionally moved nearer to its two neighbors, Mali and Niger, additionally ruled by army regimes. The three international locations have been dealing with recurring jihadist assaults for a number of years from teams linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. In Burkina alone, they’ve prompted greater than 17,000 civilian and army deaths since 2015.