The 6,700 students from these three countries currently in higher education establishments in France will still be able to continue their courses.
Visas for students from Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso who were to continue their studies in France are suspended, due to the closure of French consular services in these countries, AFP learned on Saturday from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“France campus and visa services can no longer operate normally. Artists, students and researchers already in France continue their activities and studies normally, and are welcome,” indicated the Quai d’Orsay.
Campus France, which is the French agency for the promotion abroad of French higher education and the reception of foreign students in France, specifies that the scholarships granted to students from these three countries already on French territory “remain active”.
France currently has some 3,000 Malian, 2,500 Burkinabe and 1,200 Nigerien students in its higher education establishments.
“No question of stopping existing cooperation”
“The Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs has never given instructions to suspend cooperation with Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, or their nationals. It is France’s cooperation in these three countries which is suspended, taking into account the security and political context,” he added.
On Friday, the Ministry of Research and Higher Education told AFP that it was “forced to suspend our visa services and our civil cooperation for security reasons”. However, “there is no question of stopping existing cooperation with universities or other scientific establishments”.
For security reasons, France has suspended the issuance of visas from Bamako, Niamey and Ouagadougou since August 7.
The past week has seen protests from several professional unions in the world of culture against a message that they claim to have received on Wednesday “from the Drac”, the regional directorates of culture, and “written on the instructions of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.
“This message with a threatening tone asks our members to ‘suspend’, until further notice, all cooperation with the following countries: Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso,” they said in a press release.
“When we say that there will be no visa or that we cancel all the events which would be held in France with all the artists coming from Burkina Faso, Mali or Niger: it is false, that does not will not happen,” replied French President Emmanuel Macron.
There is “no question of stopping exchanging with artists”, said the Minister of Culture Rima Abdul Malak, who however recalled the impossibility of issuing new visas.
Source: BFM TV