Burkina Faso youths demand French soldiers to leave

Burkina Faso youths demand the French soldiers to leave.

The youth from the town of Kaya, Burkina Faso have blocked a French military convoy en route to Niger and demanded that the French soldiers leave their country. They also demanded a search of the vehicles for suspicious items. This incident, which took place on Thursday evening immediately escalated till Friday and lasted all afternoon. Boukaré Ouédraogo, the mayor of Kaya, told reporters that, according to his estimates, the demonstrators will number in the thousands and the youths have remained adamant about their demands. 

The young people of Kaya are the last to confront the French convoy. According to local media, there was a standoff between protesters in Obo and the capital Ouagadougou before the huge demonstration in the city of Kaya.  The young people kept the convoy under siege, asking them to leave the country. One of the protesters’ placards read: “kaya says to the  French go home”. In this protest, the youth demanded the French troops open their vehicles so as to carry out a search for suspicious items and insisted they leave the country immediately. It was reported that the French troops refused their vehicles to be searched but instead returned to Ouagadougou. 

The youth in Burkina Faso and those in other neighbouring countries have the general impression that France is contributing to the crisis in the region by working with the jihadists by pretending to fight them. This belief, widely shared by the youth, is a result of continued insecurity, which has worsened despite the presence of French soldiers in the region.  In a recent incident last Sunday there was an attack that claim the lives of 49 Burkinabe military police officers and four civilians, adding to the many losses suffered in the region. At present, French troops remain very unpopular with young people in the Sahel region and beyond. The current resistance sums up a popular agitation against the idea that France maintains a military presence in Africa.

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