Burkina Faso Considers Russian Military Support in Fight Against Jihadists – The Ankole Times

Burkina Faso Considers Russian Military Support in Fight Against Jihadists

Friday, February 2, 2024
Burkina Faso has been taking a tough line against France since Capt Ibrahim Traoré (C) took power last year (Reuters)
The Ankole Times
2 Min Read

Burkina Faso’s military-backed president, Ibrahim Traoré, has expressed openness to the deployment of Russian troops to combat jihadists in the West African country.

In a recent interview, Traoré revealed that Russia is not only offering logistical and tactical training but is also willing to provide any necessary weapons for Burkina Faso. Unlike some other countries, Traoré emphasized that there are no restrictions on purchasing equipment from Russia, China, Turkey, or Iran.

The announcement follows reports of at least 100 Russian fighters being sent to Burkina Faso as military instructors in the past week, raising questions about the extent of the country’s security collaboration with Russia. Speculation is growing that Burkina Faso is strengthening its ties with Russia, akin to its neighboring country, Mali, where Russian Wagner mercenaries are known to operate.

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The junta-led nation’s relationship with Moscow has been under scrutiny since it expelled French troops in early 2023. The move indicated a shift in alliances and has drawn attention to Burkina Faso’s evolving geopolitical landscape.

Burkina Faso has been grappling with the persistent threat of Islamist groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. These groups have seized large portions of land, leading to the displacement of millions of people in the Sahel region. The potential involvement of Russian troops and military support raises questions about the dynamics of the fight against terrorism in the region and the impact it may have on Burkina Faso’s geopolitical standing.

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