Burkina Faso kicks out three French diplomats over ‘subversive activities’


Burkina Faso has expelled three French diplomats over alleged “subversive activities,” ordering them to leave the country within 48 hours, as reported by Reuters and Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agencies.

Quick Facts

  • Burkina Faso expels three French diplomats over “subversive activities.”
  • Details of the allegations against the diplomats were not provided by the government.
  • Since the military coup in September 2022, Burkina Faso has strained its ties with France.

Burkina Faso’s government did not disclose specific details about the accusations against the diplomats, identified as Gwenaelle Habouzit, Herve Fournier, and Guillaume Reisacher. The expulsion reportedly stemmed from their meetings with civil society leaders, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation cited by Reuters.

France’s foreign ministry has not yet responded to the report, as Burkina Faso’s military government, which took power in a 2022 coup, continues to distance itself from its former colonial power. This distancing includes the expulsion of French troops, suspension of some French media, and repeated accusations of espionage against French officials.

In December 2023, four French officials with diplomatic passports were arrested in Ouagadougou and charged with spying. A year earlier, two French nationals working for a Burkina Faso company were also expelled over espionage allegations. As relations with France deteriorate, Burkina Faso has sought security assistance from Russia, Mali, and Niger in its efforts to combat armed groups associated with al-Qaeda and ISIS.