Ivory Coast Reinforces Northern Borders Against Islamist Threat

Ivory Coast is deploying more troops to its northern borders after recording its first Islamist attack since 2016.

This “operational zone will allow us to move from border surveillance” to be in a position to defend the borders with Mali and Burkina Faso, government spokesman Sidi Toure told reporters following a cabinet meeting Monday.

The country wants “to prevent any infiltration” after militants attacked an army post at the Burkinabe border on June 11, killing 12 security officers, he said.

This was the first Islamist attack on Ivorian soil since the raid of a beach resort in Grand-Bassam left 19 people dead. There has been growing concern that insurgents have been moving further south since groups affiliated to al-Qaeda occupied urban centers in northern Mali in 2012. The world’s top cocoa grower had been largely spared from the violence which spilled over to several other countries in the region.

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