'We Are Going to Fight, but Africa Must Unite': Traore on Burkina-Mali Federation Bid
12:00 31.07.2023 (Updated: 12:02 31.07.2023)
© Sputnik . Alexey DanichevPresident of the Transitional Period of the Republic of Burkina Faso Ibrahim Traore during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, July 29, 2023
© Sputnik . Alexey Danichev/
"Africa must manage to unite, the more we are united, the more effective we are," said the Burkinabe President, speaking to Sputnik Africa about the federation proposal with Mali. This initiative was not appreciated by ECOWAS, which sanctions Burkina, and whose treatment of Burkina Faso’s problems is, according to Traore, "with variable geometry".
"The process is underway," Burkina Faso’s Transitional President Ibrahim Traore told Sputnik Africa regarding the federation initiative with Mali that was launched last February.
"We are going to fight, but Africa must unite. The more we are united, the more effective we are," said the head of state, stressing that the bid for a federation was not well appreciated by "some of ECOWAS".
Defense Deals Already 'Sealed' With Bamako
Traore said that his country and Mali, the two nations in transition, are weighing many elements, especially in the economic field. Moreover, defense agreements have already been "sealed", with Malians coming to Burkina, "it's really the same army".
"We do everything together, we train together, we fight together," Ibrahim Traore continued.
He added that the two countries were reflecting on economic issues and how to boost trade, which are already strong.
'ECOWAS’ Double Standard'
According to Captain Traore, other states could join the federation if they were interested, including Guinea. These three countries, Burkina, Mali and Guinea, had adopted a joint declaration last February against the systemic sanctions of ECOWAS and the African Union.
"Has ECOWAS ever given a thumbs up to send a cartridge to our soldiers to fight? Did they send troops to fight terrorism? Nothing. But if it is to sanction, yes, indeed, they sanction. […] A double standard which is shocking in fact."
Deeming this position "shameful", Ibrahim Traore does not doubt that Burkina Faso will continue "to move forward with dignity and with full responsibility".
Mali-Burkina Federation Initiative
The idea of creating a "flexible federation" was announced in early February by Burkinabe Prime Minister Apollinaire Kyelem de Tambela, during a visit to Mali. Both countries have been plagued by terrorist groups for years.
The regional African organization – ECOWAS – has come out against the proposed federation between Mali and Burkina Faso.