Demonstrators suspect French military of supporting terrorists
DOUALA, Cameroon: Demonstrators in the town of Kaya, north-central Burkina Faso, have tried to prevent the progress of the military convoy of Barkhane, the French anti-terrorist military force, local sources reported on Saturday.
“The French army was cornered and carried out some warning shots in the middle of the day on Saturday. But demonstrators who had fled, returned on their steps, determined to turn back the French military convoy coming from Ivory Coast to Niger,” according to the Burkina Faso News Agency (AIB).
The source said the demonstrators found containers they said belonged to the French army.
They wanted to inspect the French convoy, suspecting that the members of the French anti-terrorist force have weapons and motorcycles in their containers that are used to supply the terrorists, according to the reports.
“Thus, after Bobo-Dioulasso and Ouagadougou, the convoy has been blocked since Thursday morning at the entrance to Kaya at the tollbooth by people gathered from various localities holding up signs saying ‘France get out’, ‘Go back home’,” according to the local media.
The AIB also reported that the intervention of local authorities was not enough to calm the demonstrators.
This unprecedented demonstration in Burkina Faso was initiated by members of the Coalition of Patriots of Burkina Faso. One of the leaders told Anadolu Agency that the demonstrators do not know the destination of the convoy and are just determined to prevent any French convoy on Burkinabe territory.
“We are not against the French people. The French people are our friends. We need France to come back so that we can revisit our agreements. We have the feeling that they are interested in our resources and not us,” he added, saying the convoy is still blocked at the entrance of Kaya.
“The French army would not spend a third night in Burkina Faso and would leave,” Casimir Seguida, the governor of the Centre-Nord region said on Saturday, quoted by Burkina 24, a local media outlet.
This type of demonstration against the French presence is not new in Africa. In countries such as Mali, Niger, and Chad, the so-called “anti-French feeling” has been expressed repeatedly during demonstrations.–Online