Captain Ibrahim Traoré meets Colonel Assimi Goïta in Bamako

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For his first trip abroad, Ibrahim Traoré, recently appointed president of the transition in Burkina Faso, met his Malian counterpart in Bamako, who came to personally welcome him when he got off the plane. Nothing filtered, but the fight against terrorism was to be at the heart of the exchanges.

These are two heads of state in fatigues who greeted each other on the tarmac of Bamako airport. The image is strong and full of symbols. The colonel Like Goitawearing a green beret, and the captain Ibrahim Traorea red beret, then headed for Koulouba Palace, says David Bachefrom RFI’s Africa service.

Visit ” friendship and work “, according to the Malian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, devoted to ” security issues of concern to both countries “, according to the details of the Burkinabè presidency. ” Strengthen the Ouagadougou-Bamako axis », « intensify the armed struggle against terrorist groups », « pool the means of combat », such are the stated objectives. After his withdrawal from the G5-Sahelannounced last May, Mali had already indicated that it wanted to pursue the fight against terrorism collectively, but within bilateral frameworks.

Mixed patrols in sight?

The two countries share a common border and face the same enemies: jihadists and armed gangs, reminds our regional correspondent, Serge Daniel. According to a Malian minister, the idea would first be to make the procedure for exchanging information more efficient. Then, it would be a question of better coordinating the actions between the Malian and Burkinabè armies. Are mixed military patrols possible? ” Why not “replies our interlocutor. On the side of the Burkina Faso delegation, a source adds that Ouagadougou has expressed another concern: the fate of the many Burkinabe civilians now refugees on Malian territory.

Captain Ibrahim Traoré was sworn in as president of the Burkinabè transition on October 21, following his September 30 coup, the second in eight months in the country. Colonel Assimi Goïta is himself the product of a military coup, carried out a little over two years ago. He introduced new strategies in Mali that could serve as a model for the new Burkinabè authorities.

We obviously think of departure of the French force Barkhane and the arrival of Russian auxiliaries who have been supporting the Malian army for nearly a year. Of the ” mercenaries of Wagner group according to a large number of Western, African or American countries; simple ” instructors sent by the Russian state, according to Bamako.

Do the new Burkinabè authorities intend to draw inspiration from the Malian neighbor ? In support rallies, Burkinabè flags often rub shoulders with Malian and Russian flags. Captain Traore has so far been cautious, leaving all possibilities open.

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