Russian troops could deploy to Burkina Faso – junta leader

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Burkina Faso has been taking a tough line against France since Capt Ibrahim Traoré (C) took power last year (Reuters)

Burkina Faso’s military-backed president has said Russian troops could deploy to fight jihadists in the West African country, if needed.

In an interview, Ibrahim Traoré said Russia is offering logistical and tactical training and they are willing to sell whatever weapons are required by Burkina Faso.

Mr Traoré added there are no restrictions on what can be bought from Russia, China, Turkey or Iran, unlike other countries.

This comes amid reports that at least 100 Russian fighters were sent to the African country as military instructors last week.

The development also fuels speculation of Burkina Faso deepening security ties with Russia like neighbouring Mali, where Russian Wagner mercenaries operate.

The junta-led country’s relations with Moscow have been in the spotlight since it booted out French troops in early 2023.

Burkina Faso has been battling Islamist groups linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State, which have taken over large swathes of land and displaced millions of people in the Sahel region.

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