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French troops in Burkina 'have no reason to intervene': Hollande

AFP , Thursday 17 Sep 2015
Hollande
French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech to mark the start of the university school year during a visit of the Saclay Paris-Sud University in Orsay, France, September 17, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)
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President Francois Hollande on Thursday condemned the "coup d'etat" in Burkina Faso but said he saw "no reason" for French troops based in the west African country to intervene.

Members of the presidential guard have detained the former French colony's interim leader and senior government members less than a month before the first elections since last year's ousting of longtime leader Blaise Compaore.

"I strongly condemn this coup d'etat because an electoral process was under way and the dates had been fixed," Hollande told reporters after visiting a university outside Paris.

"I call on these groups to immediately stop what they are doing," Hollande said.

"France has friendly relations with Burkina Faso and we cannot just allow what is happening today," he added.

The president said however that the 220 French troops currently based in the capital Ouagadougou as part of a regional force fighting jihadists in west Africa "have no reason to intervene".

France's foreign ministry has urged French nationals in Burkina Faso to remain in their homes.

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