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Burkina Faso seeks joined federation with Mali

Burkina Faso seeks joined federation with Mali 

Burkina Faso has proposed a joined federation with neighboring Mali to strengthen their economic ties.

Apollinaire Kyelem de Tambela, the prime minister of Burkina Faso, said during a visit to Mali this week that the two nations could forge a flexible federation that would support and take into account their respective aspirations.

He said, “We could create a flexible federation that would be mutually reinforcing and respect the aspirations of both sides.”

He stated that because the two nations produce cotton, cattle, and gold in similar amounts, they have many things in common.

“Mali is a major producer of cotton, cattle, and gold. Burkina Faso also produces cotton, cattle, and gold. So long as we each take separate paths, we don’t have much clout. But if you put Mali’s and Burkina Faso’s production of cotton, gold, and cattle together, it becomes a powerhouse.”

Kyelem de Tambela referred to a failed attempt to unite the francophone West African nations of Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal just before they gained independence from France in 1960.

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“Our forebears tried to create groupings, like the Mali Federation, which sadly did not last. But they showed us the way,” he said.

He noted that Burkina Faso frequently traveled great distances in search of answers to its problems, adding that Mali already had the answers they were looking for. He emphasized the need for a united federation because the two landlocked Sahel countries are among the poorest and most volatile in the world and have had few periods of peace since gaining independence.

“One of my reasons for going to Mali is that for a long time, we’ve been looking elsewhere for solutions when they’re often right under our noses.”

According to Apollinaire Kyelem de Tambela, both nations are engaged in a bloody jihadist insurgency that has forced more than two million people from their homes, claimed thousands of lives, and led to military takeovers of elected governments. He also said that both countries had ordered the withdrawal of French forces that have been crucial in the fight against jihadists associated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

According to the Prime Minister, the Burkina junta is under pressure to follow Mali in forging close ties with Moscow and hire mercenaries from the Wagner group.

He praised the “genuine revolution” that, in his opinion, had occurred in Mali since Colonel Assimi Goita’s overthrow in 2020 and claimed that it had “inspired” the country’s new military leaders.

Since 2020, there have been two military coups in Burkina Faso and Mali, and both countries are under pressure from the international community to revert to democratic civil rule.

Kyelem de Tambela advised starting a new federation before authority is transferred back to civilians, “because it’ll be tricky when the politicians get back in,” he said.

Burkina Faso seeks joined federation with Mali 

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