On November 16, in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso, the population took to the streets to demand the resignation of President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, in the face of the deterioration of the security situation in Burkina Faso. The attack on gendarmes in Inata on November 14, where 57 people, including 54 soldiers, were killed, was seen as a humiliation in the country. It was the deadliest attack on the defense forces in six years, AFP said. If the president’s action is more in addition decried, the feeling of powerlessness has shifted against the presence of the French army deemed at least incapable, or even worse accomplice, of the terrorists. Thus the odyssey of a French military convoy during the crossing of the country is revealing of state of mind part of the population.
In transit between Ivory Coast and Mali, the convoy of about sixty military vehicles was blocked for the first time in Bobo-Dioulassou by a demonstration, then again, on November 20, in the town of Kaya, in the north. -est of Ouagadougou, the Burkinabè capital. The climax was reached then, forcing the convoy to regroup on a vacant lot. “A group of demonstrators tried to cut the fence to get into the grip and the Burkinabè gendarmes fired tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd. French soldiers fired several warning shots above the crowd”, explained the staff of the armies to AFP.
#BurkinaFaso Protesters blocked the way #Ouagadougou #Kaya and await the arrival of the French military convoy. On these images we can see that they support the Burkinabè gendarmes. Some protesters wave the Russian flag.#France #Russia #Iwili pic.twitter.com/WeHOVSQSBA
– Kalidou SY (@Kalidoo) November 21, 2021
According to RFI, the convoy is now stationed in Laongo, about thirty kilometers from the capital. “The objective was to simply avoid another day of face to face with the population in order to bring down the tension.“, explained Colonel Pascal Ianni, the spokesperson for the General Staff.
For the time being, no date has been given for a restart of the convoy. Especially since the most virulent demonstrators, like those of the Coalition of African Patriots, go so far as to accuse France of arming terrorists.
At the same time, the Burkinabè government decided to suspend access to mobile internet for four days. A “arbitrary, abusive and unfair measure”, denounced Eddie Komboïgo, the leader of the political opposition.
Some very young demonstrators even waved the Russian flag. As in neighboring Mali, some are calling for the presence of the Russians, who are presumed to be more efficient than the French. An attitude that deeply irritates Jean-Yves le Drian, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, who sees a maneuver orchestrated by Moscow. “There are manipulators, through social networks, fake news, the instrumentalization of part of the press, who play against France. Some, sometimes even inspired, by European networks. I am thinking of Russia. “
Weekly Point also adheres to this thesis. For him, RT, Sputnik or the Internet Research Agency “flood social networks with fake news and fabricated videos tending to demonstrate to Africans, with certain effectiveness, that France’s African policy is based on the exploitation and plundering of African resources”. According to the magazine, Russian videos are at the origin of the accusation of complicity between the jihadists and Barkhane.
So in a Russian RT article On October 8, 2021, Malian Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maïga claims to have evidence that activist groups are being trained on his territory. “According to the Malian official, France now controls an enclave in Kidal, Mali does not have access to it”, writes RT.
But if the rupture between the military junta in power in Bamako and France seems to have been completed, this is not yet the case in Burkina Faso, as long as the president Roch Marc Christian Kaboré manages to stay in power.