Three people have been injured in a grenade attack in Burkina Faso ahead of French president Emmanuel Macron schedule arrival for a three-day visit to the African continent.
The explosive device was thrown at French troops in the capital Ouagadougou. "Two hooded individuals on a motorcycle threw a grenade towards a French army vehicle," a security personnel told AFP.
One civilian was seriously wounded in the attack which took place at about 8:00 p.m. The incident beckons close examination of security protocols during Macron's west African trip.
"The attackers' target was the French army vehicle, which was not hit," according to a source.
French special forces have been in Burkina Faso since 2010, helping regional governments fight terrorism in the Sahel region.
Macron arrived in Ouagadougou hours after the incident took place and met with Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.
During the trip to the region, the French head of state aims to boost France's influence as well as address migrant exodus. He will also pursue options to shore up the fight against Islamist militancy in the Sahel by seeking global support for the five-nation African counter-terrorism force put in place to secure that region.
According to Macron's advisers, he will engage African leaders to pursue educational and entrepreneurial partnerships while on his visit to the continent. Governments across Europe are continuously exploring different methods to block the flow of African migrants trek across the Mediterranean on their way to the mainlands.
He told reporters that the trip will bring "a new stage for our relationship with your country and the whole continent."
Macron further reflected on the role of France, as well as Burkinese youth, in the ousting of former authoritarian, President Blaise Compaore, who ruled the African nation for 27 years.
Burkina Faso, he said, "is an emblem of the democratic aspirations of Africa's youth. I wanted to pay tribute to all this by making Ouagadougou the first step of my African tour."
Next, Kabore and Macron are scheduled to hold dialogue with 800 students at the University of Ouagadougou before paying a visit to the largest West African-based solar power plant, on Wednesday.
Following his stop in Burkina Faso, the president will visit a second former French colony – Ivory Coast or Côte d’Ivoire – to attend an 80-leader complement Europe-Africa summit.
Macron will then head to Ghana.