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Wednesday 29th
posted by Morning Star in World

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.