FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron was greeted by volleys of stones on his visit to former colony Burkina Faso yesterday.
Trade unions called for protests during his visit as part of a regional tour before an EU-African Union summit in Ivory Coast later this week.
The government ordered schools in the capital Ouagadougou be closed to reduce traffic amid high-security measures, but many took that as a bid to head off unrest.
Mr Macron’s spokesman Bruno Roger-Petit said the presidential motorcade was pelted with stones on its way to a meeting with President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.
He denied reports of “hundreds of assailants” and vehicles destroyed.
In a speech to students at Ouagadougou University, Mr Macron gave an assurance that Francois Compaore, the brother of former president Blaise Compaore, who was installed in a French-backed 1987 coup, would finally be extradited from France over the 1998 murder of journalist Norbert Zongo.
Declining to answer questions about domestic issues, he said: “You talk to me as if I were the president of Burkina Faso, as if France were still a colonial power.”
Mr Macron claimed he belonged to “a generation that has never known Africa as a colonised continent,” although France maintains the territories of Mayotte and Reunion.
Several people were injured on Monday night when two motorcycle-mounted assailants threw a hand grenade at a bus carrying French troops, missing their intended target.
Burkina Faso is one of five former French colonies in the Sahel region south of the Sahara involved in the three-year French-led Operation Barkhane counterinsurgency operation.
The US also has a military presence in Burkina Faso as part of its network of bases across the Sahel.