We at TFI explained to our viewers that the US decided to exclude Burkina Faso from its trade agreement called the African Growth and Development Act (AGOA). The justification of the Biden administration for excluding the West African nation is no progress toward democratic rule and a lack of respect for civil liberties.
The US president wrote in a letter to the US Congress “I have made this decision because I have determined that the government of Burkina Faso has not established, or made continued progress towards establishing, respect for the rule of law and political pluralism.”
Recently the US Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, held a meeting with the military junta leader of Burkina Faso, Ibrahim Traore, as part of her four-day visit to the Sahel region. Following her meeting, Nuland stated that Traore has assured her that unlike its neighbours Burkina Faso will not be inviting the Russian private military company Wagner Group to solve the problem of Jihadist and insurgent organisations in the country.
She told the media, “We had a chance to sit with interim President Traore and his leadership team, including his defence minister. He was unequivocal in saying that only the Burkinabe will defend their country. They have no intention of inviting Wagner.”
This comes when the Sahel region, of which Burkina Faso is a crucial part, has gotten frustrated and exhausted with the dual agenda of the West. It all started with Mali, another significant player in West Africa. France sent its military there as part of Operation Barkhane to help the country’s battle against terrorists and rebels. Over the years, Mali’s security, instead of improving, further intensified as no substantial progress has been made.
G5 Sahel, the military alliance funded and supported by the West and which comprised Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, and, Mauritania witnessed its key member Mali leaving it. Mali’s exit had a drastic implication on the future of the West in the Sahel because it exposed the shallow promises and unmasked the real intentions of the US and Europe in the region as there were reports that alleged that the French and the Jihadist groups conspired to create instability in the region.
G5 was condemned by many for not being able to meet its goal and being underfunded. Niger’s president called it a “dead” group.
In the wake of its liberation from the dominance of the West, Mali sought the assistance of the Wagner Group. This had an impact on its neighbour Burkina Faso as well because former military junta leader Colonel Damiba too invited Wagner Group to improve the security situation of his country.
Later, there was a military coup led by the aforementioned Traore in Burkina Faso which toppled the regime of Damiba. After becoming the president, Traore didn’t express his intentions regarding which country he would like to forge ties with. But there was an atmosphere in Burkina Faso’s political and civilian sphere which saw locals expressing their support for Russia. In fact, there was a protest in favour of Russia in which people raised slogans in favour of it and criticised France.
The founder of Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has good relations with Putin, praised Traore, calling him, “a truly courageous son of the motherland.”
Now, earlier we predicted that Burkina Faso under Traore will establish ties with Russia and subsequently invite Wagner Group. As it turns out, there was a development. Traore visited neighbouring Mali, his first foreign visit. He held a meeting with Mali’s ruling junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita on peace and security. A Burkina Faso official stated that the main topic of discussion was rising terrorism in both countries and a strategy to combat it.
Mali under Gotta has good ties with Russia, he has invited Wagner into his territory and purchased military equipment from Russia. It has good relations with Burkina Faso too.
We also stated that Biden cut ties with the West African nation and excluded Burkina Faso from AGOA because it went against its word and sought the assistance of Wagner. But nothing was official yet.
However, it turns out that we were right because the prime minister of Burkina Faso said that his nation will consider a stronger relationship with Russia. With this, it becomes official that after Mali another African country is pursuing a deep partnership with Russia after driving out the West from its land.