By Biodun Busari
Following the coup d’etat on Friday, aggrieved protesters were chanting anti-France slogans as they attacked the French embassy in Ouagadougou, the Burkina Faso capital on Saturday.
Their demonstrations were in support of the country’s new military leader, Ibrahim Traore who ousted the erstwhile interim president Lt Col Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba.
Traore had accused France of harbouring Damiba as the whereabouts of the latter were uncertain while the protest went on.
However, French authorities have denied any involvement and condemned the violence.
According to Africa News, reacting to the protest in a statement, France said the security of its compatriots was its priority following the military coup.
“We don’t want France anymore. We no longer want France to be in Africa. “Down with France,” protesters chanted.
Some added: “We call on Russia and suggested Russian intervention was preferable to any involvement by their former colonisers.”
One demonstrator said: “We want frank cooperation with Russia. That’s why we hold the three flags. The Russian, Malian and Burkinabe flags.”
Another explained: “Damiba has failed and the people are not happy. And we are indeed going out today to show the whole world that we do not want this man anymore.
“At the moment, we have very seasoned soldiers who have taken power and we will support them until terrorism is driven out of our country.”
Damiba had promised to challenge jihadist violence but critics accused him of being too close to France which maintains a military presence in the region.
French spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre condemned the violence against the embassy and said the protests were “the work of hostile demonstrators, manipulated by a campaign of disinformation against us.”
She added: “Our nationals have been instructed to exercise the utmost vigilance and to remain at home.”