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Russia to deploy more ‘instructors to Burkina Faso’: Lavrov

Russia FM in Guinea amid Africa influence boost
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The number of Russian military instructors in Burkina Faso “will increase”, Moscow’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday during a visit the West African nation on a regional tour.

The Kremlin has seen relations with the West plummet since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022 and has sought to boost its influence in Africa, including in Burkina.

“Russian instructors work here, and their number will increase,” Lavrov told a news conference in the capital Ouagadougou shown live on his ministry’s website.

“At the same time, we are training in Russia representatives of the armed forces and security forces of Burkina Faso,” he added.

“This type of partnership is very concrete and has greatly progressed.”

He arrived in the West African nation on Tuesday evening and held talks with the head of the military regime Captain Ibrahim Traore.

After taking power in September 2022, Burkina’s coup leaders expelled French troops and diplomats, and have turned to Russia for military assistance.

“We have had relations with Burkina Faso for a long time and the arrival in power of president Traore has given these relations new impetus,” Lavrov said.

Jihadist rebels affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group have waged a grinding insurgency since 2015 in Burkina Faso that has killed thousands and displaced two million people.

“I have no doubt that thanks to this cooperation, the pockets of terrorists which remain in Burkina Faso will be destroyed,” the veteran Russian minister said.

Russia has bolstered ties with Mali and Niger, two neighbours of Burkina also ruled by soldiers against a background of jihadist attacks.

The three countries have announced their withdrawal from the ECOWAS regional bloc, accusing it of failing to offer enough support in the fight against jihadists.

Ouagadougou was Lavrov’s third stop on his tour after Guinea and Congo.

He was expected to travel on to Chad, where General Mahamat Idriss Deby has just been elected president after three years at the head of a military junta.

Last July, Russian President Vladimir Putin invited African leaders to a summit in Saint Petersburg where he said they agreed to promote a multipolar world order and to fight neo-colonialism.

Putin hailed the “commitment of all our states to the formation of a just and democratic multipolar world order”.

 

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AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.







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