General Thierry Burkhard, Chief of Defense Staff of the French Armed Forces, is on a visit to Cotonou on Saturday, December 9, 2023. The Beninese military headquarters indicates that the French officer is here to discuss military cooperation between the two countries.
Thierry Burkhard is invited by his Beninese counterpart, General Fructueux Gbaguidi, Chief of General Staff of the Beninese Armed Forces. Honors, lunch, press conferences, one-on-one meetings, and a visit to the air base are some of the highlights of the program. General Burkhard is accompanied by officers from his general staff.
Brigadier General Étienne du Peyroux preceded them. He leads the French elements in Senegal, which is the operational hub of cooperation. There is also the structural cooperation pole concerned by this visit. A mission recently stayed in Cotonou for an assessment. According to our sources, the military cooperation program for 2024 is ready. Demining, the navy, and many other sectors are among the areas of intervention.
The Beninese public hopes for clarification from the French visitor on several points: is there a French base in Benin? Could the country be the next destination for the former Barkhane mission? The French general leaves in the early evening, and there are no plans for him to meet with Benin’s President, Patrice Talon.