Burkina Faso Leader Accuses Côte d’Ivoire Of Welcoming ‘Destabilisers’

Ibrahim Traore, the president of Burkina Faso’s military dictatorship, accused Côte d’Ivoire on Friday of inviting “all the destabilisers” of his nation, claiming there was a “problem with the authorities” in Abidjan.

Ties between the two countries have been strained recently, and on April 19, its defense ministers met on the border in an attempt to forge a “new start” in relations.

Referring to Côte d’Ivoire in an interview with national broadcaster RTB, Traore said: “All the destabilisers are there and they aren’t hiding”.

“At some point, we have to stop the hypocrisy and tell the truth — there’s a problem with the authorities of this country,” he added.

Traore’s government took power in a 2022 coup and has since distanced itself from former colonial ruler France in favour of closer ties with other military regimes in the region, as well as Russia.

Speaking about Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, Traore said he had no “special contacts” with him.

“At first we spoke a little on the telephone, he sent me emissaries, we discussed — we were hoping things went ahead with common sense,” he continued, adding “that is broken” now.

Of the border meeting between the two defence chiefs, Traore said that “the ball is in their court”, adding it “went well”.

“We had frank exchanges. We’re looking at them now,” he said.

Relations between Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, which have been marred by Islamist violence, have been fraught with tensions.

A Burkinabé soldier and a civilian official were apprehended in the north of Côte d’Ivoire in late March.

Last September, two Ivorian police officers were apprehended in Burkina Faso at an illicit gold mining location.

Negotiations for the release of Ivorians and Burkinabes are still ongoing in both countries.

Burkina Faso’s communications ministry suspended local internet access to the BBC and Voice of America for two weeks on Thursday after they broadcast a rights report accusing the army of attacking civilians in its fight against militants.


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