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Infos: Burkina Faso confirms demanding France to withdraw troops

A demonstrator holds placards during a protest to support Burkina Faso's military ruler and demand the departure of France's ambassador and troops in the capital on Jan 2023.   –   Copyright © africanews OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT/AFP or licensors By Rédaction Africanews Last updated: 3 hours ago Burkina Faso The Burkina Faso government clarified on Monday that

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Infos: Burkina Faso confirms demanding France to withdraw troops
A demonstrator holds placards during a protest to support Burkina Faso's military ruler and demand the departure of France's ambassador and troops in the capital on Jan 2023.   –  

Copyright © africanews

OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT/AFP or licensors

Burkina Faso

The Burkina Faso government clarified on Monday that it has asked ex-colonial ruler France to pull its troops out of the insurgency-hit country within a month.

France deploys about 400 special forces soldiers in junta-ruled Burkina, but relations have deteriorated and tensions have soared in recent months.

“We are terminating the agreement which allows French forces to be in Burkina Faso,” government spokesman Jean-Emmanuel Ouedraogo told Radio-Television du Burkina.

“This is not the end of diplomatic relations between Burkina Faso and France,” he added.

“This termination is normal and is foreseen in the terms of the agreement,” the spokesman said.

The junta and all the country wanted “to be the prime actors in the recapture of our territory”, he said, echoing coup leader Captain Ibrahim Traore's rallying call to reclaim as a top priority swaths of land occupied by jihadists.

Burkina Faso's state news agency had unveiled the request late on Saturday.

AFP obtained on Sunday a copy of the Burkinabe foreign ministry's letter sent to Paris and dated last Wednesday asking to “terminate and close the agreement in its entirety”.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday said Paris was awaiting clarifications from Ouagadougou over the pullout call.

‘Can’t be any clearer’

He claimed there was “great confusion” over the reports and urged Traore to take a public stance.

The government spokesman said Monday: “At the present stage we don't see how we can make it more clear.”

Since the latest military regime seized power in September several demonstrations have taken place calling for the departure of the French ambassador, as well as the French troops.

Protesters attacked the French cultural centre in the capital Ouagadougou in October.

The French foreign ministry admitted the junta had asked it to replace ambassador Luc Hallade after he ruffled feathers with reports on Burkina's worsening security situation.

At the same time Burkina Faso, like its neighbour Mali, appears to be turning increasingly towards Russia as a partner.

“Russia is a reasonable choice in this dynamic,” Burkinabe Prime Minister Apollinaire Kyelem de Tembela said last week after talks with the Russian ambassador and a December visit to Moscow.

“We think our partnership has to be strengthened,” he added.

Burkina Faso is reeling from jihadist violence that swept in from neighbouring Mali in 2015.

The insurgency has claimed the lives of thousands and driven at least two million others to flee their homes.

Paris has been concerned about a repeat of its disastrous falling-out with Mali, from which it removed troops last year.

If French forces were to pull out of Burkina, Paris's preferred option looks to be redeployment to the south of neighbouring Niger, where nearly 2,000 of its soldiers are already stationed.

Niger, the poorest state in the world on the UN's Human Development Index, is struggling with two jihadist emergencies and seeking to boost the numbers of its armed forces.

France and the United States both have important military bases in the vast arid country, while Germany has a logistics base.

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              Foreign

              Infos: Ahead visit to DR Congo, Pope Francis denounces “colonialist mentality” towards Africa

              Pope Francis   –   Copyright © africanews AP Photo By Rédaction Africanews Last updated: 3 hours ago Democratic Republic Of Congo In an exclusive interview with the Associated Press at the Vatican, just a week ahead of his scheduled trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, Pope Francis denounced a “colonialist mentality” of

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              Infos: Ahead visit to DR Congo, Pope Francis denounces “colonialist mentality” towards Africa
              Pope Francis   –  

              Copyright © africanews

              AP Photo

              Democratic Republic Of Congo

              In an exclusive interview with the Associated Press at the Vatican, just a week ahead of his scheduled trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, Pope Francis denounced a “colonialist mentality” of the international community toward Africa.

              “There is a historical, geographical reality. In Italian it is said 'Africa va fruttata', that is, Africa is meant to be exploited. And that is a kind of colonialist mentality that remains,” said Francis on Tuesday.

              He pointed to a problem of attitude toward the African continent.

              “A kind of colonialist mentality…remains,” Francis said.

              “That is a problem of our attitude and of not yet (having the) courage of total independence on their part.”

              Earlier in January Francis had sent his condolences to the victims of a bombing on a Pentecostal church in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

              Islamic militants claimed the attack, which killed at least 14 people and injured more than 60.

              Francis is due to arrive in the capital of Congolese Kinshasa on Jan. 31 for a three-day visit.

              When it was originally scheduled for July, the trip was supposed to include a stop in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.

              The Vatican scrapped that leg of the trip, amid a new wave of attacks in parts of North Kivu.

              Continent afflicted by “internal wars”

              Violence has wracked eastern Congo for decades as more than 120 armed groups and self-defence militias fight for land and power.

              “Africa is in turmoil” said Francis talking about the “internal wars” afflicting the continent.

              “And is also suffering from the invasion of exploiters” he added.

              In The AP Interview on Tuesday, Francis also addressed what he called a problem of “tribalism” in Africa.

              “The tribalism is also very strong, for example to appoint a bishop in a diocese, one has to look carefully, that he belongs to the group – not to say tribe – that he belongs to the group,” he said adding that during a visit to Kenya, a crowd chanted repeatedly “no to tribalism.”

              “It was a scream from the whole stadium. They themselves feel that difficulty, it is a people that is consolidating itself more and more in freedom.”

              The fighting has exacerbated eastern Congo’s dire humanitarian crisis.

              Almost 6 million people are internally displaced and hundreds of thousands are facing extreme food insecurity, according to the United Nations.

              While he won't be going to Goma, Francis will meet with some residents from the east and victims of the conflict in Kinshasa.

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                    Bomb injures at least 12 people near a market in north-eastern DR Congo

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                        Kinshasa prepares to welcome Pope Francis

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                          Foreign

                          Infos: Ahead visit to DR Congo, Pope Francis denounces “colonialist mentality” of Africa

                          Pope Francis   –   Copyright © africanews AP Photo By Rédaction Africanews Last updated: 2 hours ago Democratic Republic Of Congo In an exclusive interview with the Associated Press at the Vatican, just a week ahead of his scheduled trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, Pope Francis denounced a “colonialist mentality” of

                          Published

                          on

                          Infos: Ahead visit to DR Congo, Pope Francis denounces “colonialist mentality” of Africa
                          Pope Francis   –  

                          Copyright © africanews

                          AP Photo

                          Democratic Republic Of Congo

                          In an exclusive interview with the Associated Press at the Vatican, just a week ahead of his scheduled trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, Pope Francis denounced a “colonialist mentality” of the international community toward Africa.

                          “There is a historical, geographical reality. In Italian it is said 'Africa va fruttata', that is, Africa is meant to be exploited. And that is a kind of colonialist mentality that remains,” said Francis on Tuesday.

                          He pointed to a problem of attitude toward the African continent.

                          “A kind of colonialist mentality…remains,” Francis said.

                          “That is a problem of our attitude and of not yet (having the) courage of total independence on their part.”

                          Earlier in January Francis had sent his condolences to the victims of a bombing on a Pentecostal church in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

                          Islamic militants claimed the attack, which killed at least 14 people and injured more than 60.

                          Francis is due to arrive in the capital of Congolese Kinshasa on Jan. 31 for a three-day visit.

                          When it was originally scheduled for July, the trip was supposed to include a stop in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.

                          The Vatican scrapped that leg of the trip, amid a new wave of attacks in parts of North Kivu.

                          Violence has wracked eastern Congo for decades as more than 120 armed groups and self-defence militias fight for land and power.

                          “Africa is in turmoil” said Francis talking about the “internal wars” afflicting the continent.

                          “And is also suffering from the invasion of exploiters” he added.

                          In The AP Interview on Tuesday, Francis also addressed what he called a problem of “tribalism” in Africa.

                          “The tribalism is also very strong, for example to appoint a bishop in a diocese, one has to look carefully, that he belongs to the group – not to say tribe – that he belongs to the group,” he said adding that during a visit to Kenya, a crowd chanted repeatedly “no to tribalism.”

                          “It was a scream from the whole stadium. They themselves feel that difficulty, it is a people that is consolidating itself more and more in freedom.”

                          The fighting has exacerbated eastern Congo’s dire humanitarian crisis.

                          Almost 6 million people are internally displaced and hundreds of thousands are facing extreme food insecurity, according to the United Nations.

                          While he won't be going to Goma, Francis will meet with some residents from the east and victims of the conflict in Kinshasa.

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                                      Foreign

                                      Infos: U.S. – South Africa: Joint initiative to combat wildlife trafficking

                                      United States Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen attends a bilateral meeting with South Africa's Finance Minister at the National Treasury in Pretoria, South Africa   –   Copyright © africanews -/AFP or licensors By Afolake Oyinloye and Agencies Last updated: 5 hours ago South Africa U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen used a tour of the Dinokeng Game

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                                      Infos: U.S. – South Africa: Joint initiative to combat wildlife trafficking
                                      United States Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen attends a bilateral meeting with South Africa's Finance Minister at the National Treasury in Pretoria, South Africa   –  

                                      Copyright © africanews

                                      -/AFP or licensors

                                      South Africa

                                      U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen used a tour of the Dinokeng Game Reserve in South Africa on Wednesday to announce a joint initiative to combat wildlife trafficking and related criminal activities in the United States and South Africa .

                                      “First, we will increase information sharing between our financial intelligence units to better support key law enforcement agencies from South Africa and the United States. Second, the task force will prioritize the sharing of financial red flags and indicators related to wildlife trafficking cases.”

                                      “We will convene relevant government authorities, regulators, law enforcement, and the private sector to improve controls to combat money laundering and the illicit proceeds related to drug trafficking and wildlife trafficking,” she added.

                                      Yellen's announcement of a joint wildlife trafficking task force at a reserve that is home to lions, leopards, elephants and critically endangered black rhinos could help a key South African industry. South Africa has an abundance of game parks and a thriving wildlife tourism industry but struggles with the effects of poaching and illegal animal trafficking.

                                      The White House strategy for Africa also outlines concern over China's involvement in sub-Saharan Africa, where it has for years entrenched itself in the region's natural resources market. China is now South Africa's biggest trade partner.

                                      Yellen started her 10-day trip in Senegal before travelling to Zambia and then arriving in South Africa.

                                      On Thursday, she is expected to meet South Africa's finance minister and then meet business leaders and the country's central bank governor.

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