Burkina Faso Arrests Frenchman Suspected of Espionage, ICG says

Empty seat of the head of state of Burkina Faso at the second extraordinary summit on the political situation in Burkina Faso, in Accra, Ghana, on February 3, 2022InternationalIndiaAfricaSoon after the arrest, the French consultant for the International Crisis Group (ICG) operating in Burkina Faso was released and able to leave the country. The arrest took place nearly three months after Burkinabe authorities expelled two French citizens suspected of spying for Paris.Burkina Faso’s authorities have arrested ICG consultant Mathieu Pellerin on charges of espionage. Pellerin was later released following a short detention, the ICG has said in a statement.”He had been detained in Ouagadougou since Friday evening while authorities examined his work. A consultant for the International Crisis Group since 2018, Mr. Pellerin was carrying out a research mission for us when he was arrested. Since then, he left the country,” explained the ICG.The ICG claims to have had “productive discussions with the transitional authorities” about the terrorist threat and to have always maintained good relations with different Burkinabe governments.Despite the assurances of the ICG on the relationship with the Burkinabe authorities, certain internet users suspected Pellerin of espionage.In December 2022, two French citizens were expelled from the country amid suspicions of spying for France, as reported by the Burkina Information Agency.Burkina Faso Arrests Frenchman Suspected of Espionage, ICG saysAfricaFrance Ends Military Operations in Burkina Faso20 February, 12:13 GMTCertain observers from Burkina Faso believe that Paris might try to destabilize the country by spying on the African country’s intelligence system or hacking into its secret communications, Salif Warma, secretary general of the Burkinabe Association of Barcelona, told Sputnik.In recent months, the Burkinabe people have repeatedly protested in the streets of Ouagadougou against the French military presence on the West African nation’s soil, stressing that the French troops were incapable of countering the terrorist threat in the Sahel region.At the end of February, Paris finally declared the end of its military operations in the country and pulled out its troops.

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