Burkina Faso expels 3 French envoys for 'subversive activities'

Thursday April 18 2024

Burkina Faso's military leader Ibrahim Traore is escorted by soldiers in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on October 2, 2022. PHOTO | REUTERS


Burkina Faso's military government has expelled three French diplomats for alleged subversive activities, the foreign ministry said in a letter seen by Reuters on Thursday.

The three diplomats, two of whom were listed as political advisers, were declared persona non grata and given 48 hours to leave the country, according to the letter dated April 16, which was addressed to the French embassy.

It did not elaborate on what they were accused of.

The French Foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read: Burkina Faso suspends French news outlet

The country is run by a military junta that seized power in a coup in 2022, leading to a breakdown in relations with its former colonial ruler France.


Ouagadougou has since kicked out French troops, pushed France to recall its ambassador, and suspended some French media.

One source with direct knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be named, said that the diplomats were kicked out because of meetings that they had with civil society members.

Burkina Faso's junta has drawn criticism from international rights groups for cracking down on freedom of speech and intimidating critics as it struggles to contain a security crisis caused by militants linked to Al Qaeda and Islamic State.