Police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators who took to the streets in the latest protest against the country's former colonial power.

File Photo: France is facing mounting hostility among erstwhile colonies in the French-speaking Sahel, a region that is being battered by a decade-old insurgency.
File Photo: France is facing mounting hostility among erstwhile colonies in the French-speaking Sahel, a region that is being battered by a decade-old insurgency. (Reuters Archive)

Protesters have attempted to storm the French embassy in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, demanding the expulsion of the French ambassador.

The protesters rallied at the municipal stadium on Friday morning before heading to the French embassy, where they were dispersed by police tear gas, according to the local daily Le Faso.

“Police fired tear gas after negotiations with the protesters asking them to leave the scene peacefully failed. But the protesters responded by stoning the embassy,” it said.

The protesters later reportedly headed toward Kamboinse, about 30 kilometres north of the capital, where a French military base is located.

Video footage showed the protesters, some riding on motorcycles, blowing whistles and vuvuzelas shouting slogans such as “down with France.”

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'Move over'

The protesters, mainly youth, accuse France of being responsible for Burkina Faso’s problems, including insecurity.

They also want the military to sever the security partnership with France in favour of Russia.

"We don't want anything more to do with France," said Salif Belem, who was holding a Russian flag.

"Our country is regularly attacked by terrorists. If their (the French) presence doesn't get results, they should move over for other partners."

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There was no immediate comment from the French embassy. But in a statement on previous demonstrations following the September coup, the embassy “firmly denied” any French involvement in the events in Burkina Faso.

France maintains a military presence in Burkina Faso, with a contingent of special forces based in Kamboinsin.

“For a long time, we have said that we no longer want France in our country. It is France that is responsible for our misfortunes. We have protested before but they are still here. But today is the last day...” Le Faso quoted a protester as saying.

Last month, anti-French protesters waving Russian flags demonstrated in the capital.

After the January coup which deposed elected President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, angry soldiers led by Captain Ibrahim Traore last month ousted Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba in a second coup in eight months.

READ MORE: Burkina coup leader vows to retake territory controlled by militants

Source: TRTWorld and agencies