Burkina Faso: French Diplomat’s Comments Raises Ire In Burkina Faso

Remarks by the French ambassador in Burkina Faso, Luc Hollade has caused anger and controversy to such an extent, that certain civil society organisations and political players are demanding his departure.

Reporting to senators in France on July 5th, 2022 Hollade said: “the absence of results is causing strong frustrations in the country and the conflict is in reality, a civil war. He added that “a part of the population has rebelled against the state and seeks to overthrow it”.

A few days later, during the commemoration of the French National Day in capital Ouagadougou, the diplomat again attacked certain Internet users whom he described as “idiots” who accused his country without proof of aiding terrorism in the Sahel.

Monique Yeli Kam, a 2020 presidential candidate has denounced the remarks, saying that Hollade considers Burkina Faso a “conquered and acquired ground.”

“These are insulting remarks to Burkinabe youth,” added Lassina Sawadogo, coordinator of civil society organisation, the Front de DĂ©fense pour la Patrie. “Authorities can accept his apologies, I will never forgive these insults,” he added.

According to Paul Oumarou Koalaga, a specialist in international relations, the utterance of the French ambassador is clumsy and is a flagrant violation of basic principles in diplomatic relations. ” As the representative of France in Burkina Faso, he could have reserved his personal opinion on the question in order to preserve cooperation between the two States which requires courtesy”, he said.

The diplomat was summoned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and “clearly notified” that his remarks are unacceptable.

He defended himself on July 21, 2022 in Ouagadougou, challenging anyone to find the slightest trace of insult towards the Burkinabè people in his speech.

Translated from VOA by Allafrica’s Michael Tantoh

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