Moscow to Deploy More Military Instructors in Burkina Faso

Moscow will increase the number of its military instructors in Burkina Faso, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced Wednesday during a visit to the West African nation as part of a wider regional tour.

“Russian instructors work here and their number will increase,” Lavrov said at a news conference in the capital Ouagadougou. “At the same time, we are training representatives of the armed forces and security forces of Burkina Faso in Russia.”

Moscow has sought to boost its influence across the African continent since relations with Western countries plummeted over the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. 

Lavrov arrived in Burkina Faso late Tuesday and held talks with the head of the military regime Captain Ibrahim Traore.

After taking power in September 2022, Burkina Faso’s coup leaders expelled French troops and diplomats and turned to Moscow for military assistance.

“We have had relations with Burkina Faso for a long time and the arrival in power of President Traore has given these relations new impetus,” Lavrov said.

“I have no doubt that thanks to this cooperation, the pockets of terrorists which remain in Burkina Faso will be destroyed,” he added, referring to Jihadist rebels who have waged an insurgency in the West African nation since 2015.

Burkina Faso is Lavrov’s third stop on his wider tour of Africa after trips to Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is expected to next travel to Chad, where General Mahamat Idriss Deby has just been elected president after three years at the head of a military junta there.

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