Burkina Faso’s coup president, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, said on Friday there was “no break in diplomatic relations” with France and denied the presence of Wagner’s Russian mercenaries. in his country.
“The end of diplomatic agreements, no! “, said Captain Traoré in a television interview granted to Burkinabè journalists. “There is no severance of diplomatic relations or hatred against a particular state,” he added.
He claimed that there had been a breach of a military agreement on the presence of French special forces in Ouagadougou. “It’s just a process that has been started and it has nothing to do with diplomacy,” he said.
“Where are they” Wagner?
He also denied the presence of Russian mercenaries from the Wagner company in Burkina, plagued by jihadist violence since 2015 and where violence has increased in recent months.
“We heard everywhere that Wagner is in Ouagadougou, I even asked some ‘oh well, where are they?'” said Captain Traoré in this interview. “We have our Wagner, it is the VDP (Volunteers for the defense of the homeland, civilian auxiliaries of the army) that we recruit. They are our Wagners,” he explained.
Coup last fall
Captain Traoré, who came to power on September 30 by a coup d’etat, considered that Burkina’s rapprochement with Russia was perceived “necessarily in a political way, but we are here for a mission, it is security, it is is the primary mission”.
“We really want to look at other horizons, because we want win-win partnerships,” he said. “We don’t want unclear, fuzzy or unbalanced partnerships,” he added.
He affirmed that “all the people want is their sovereignty, to live with dignity”. “It doesn’t mean leaving one country for another.”
And if a country comes “to colonize us, to dominate us, we will not agree”.