France suspends development aid and budget support to Burkina Faso

PARIS, FRANCE – FEBRUARY 15: French President Emmanuel Macron awaits arrival Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (not seen) at the Presidential Elysee Palace in Paris, France on February 15, 2023. ( Mustafa Yalcin – Anadolu Agency )

France announced, Sunday evening, the suspension of its development aid and its budgetary support to Burkina Faso, according to a press release sent by the Quai d’Orsay. 

Burkina Faso is thus targeted by a decision that looks like a sanction in a context of crisis after having supported the putschists behind the coup in Niger. 

Earlier this week, Mali and Burkina Faso issued a joint press release, clearly distancing themselves from ECOWAS’ position on the Niger situation and stating that “any military intervention” in Niger would be considered “a declaration of war”. 

The two countries, both led by transitional governments, said they were “outraged and surprised by the imbalance observed between, on the one hand, the speed and the adventurous attitude of certain political leaders in West Africa eager to use armed force to restore constitutional order in a sovereign country, and on the other hand, the inaction, indifference and passive complicity of these organizations and political leaders in helping the States and peoples who are victims of terrorism for a decade and left to their fate” Expressing “their fraternal solidarity and that of the peoples of Burkina Faso and Mali with the brotherly people of Niger”, they denounced “the persistence” with which the “regional organizations” adopted “sanctions aggravating the suffering of the populations and endangering the spirit of pan-Africanism”.

As a result, Bamako and Ouagadougou have refused “to apply these illegal, illegitimate and inhuman sanctions against the people and authorities of Niger”. 

This announcement of the suspension of French aid comes at a time when the CNSP (National Council for the Safeguarding of the Fatherland) has taken the decision to close its airspace again, claiming to have information according to which “a foreign power” is prepare, in collaboration with ECOWAS, to carry out an operation against Niger.

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