France has announced that it will suspend all its development aid and budget support actions to Burkina Faso until further notice, following the country’s support for the military coup in Niger. The French Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that it “firmly and resolutely” backed the efforts of the West African bloc ECOWAS to restore the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum, who was ousted by a group of soldiers on August 1.
Burkina Faso and Mali, both of which have experienced coups in recent years, have declared that they would consider any military intervention by ECOWAS against the new junta in Niger as a “declaration of war”. They have also called for dialogue and respect for the sovereignty of Niger.
France is the former colonial power and a major donor to Burkina Faso, which is facing a worsening security situation due to jihadist attacks and inter-communal violence. According to the French Foreign Ministry, France provided 146 million euros ($172 million) of aid to Burkina Faso in 2020.