At the Place de la Nation, in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, today is the day of the demonstration. Thousands of citizens flock to express their support for the government of Ibrahim Traore and its recent decision to expel all French soldiers from the country. In the crowd, Russian flags and photographs of Vladimir Putin are accompanied by national flags and posters indicating “No France!” The mood is euphoric.

In less than a year, French troops have been expelled from two key countries to secure the Sahel: Mali last summer and Burkina Faso in February. But these measures are just the tip of the iceberg of anti-French sentiment growing in the region. Paris’ once formidable influence in West Africa is waning as Moscow seizes power and establishes itself as a privileged military ally.

“Decolonization Plan”

“We are very disappointed with France. If the government wanted to, it could eradicate terrorism in the region in two days, but all this violence allows it to keep us under its yoke, says Yeli Monique Kam, president of the popular M30 Naaba Wobgo movement. Everything is under the control of Parisian or French companies: cooperation, currency, aviation, including our biometric data. Meanwhile, our people are not getting out of poverty. It’s enough !” she adds enthusiastically. The movement, bearing the symbolic name of the last king of Mosi, who opposed France, published “decolonization plan” which, in particular, plans to refuse any form of cooperation with France and even to exclude the French language from the education system of Burkina Faso.

The regime of Captain Traore, which came to power as a result of the September 30 coup, has already achieved the first two objectives of the said plan, to the great joy of the people: it has achieved the departure of the ambassador