French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner arrived in Abidjan on Sunday to discuss cooperation between France and Côte d’Ivoire, mainly on terrorism and immigration.
“The risk (terrorist) exists everywhere , It has struck in France and Côte d’Ivoire” said the minister emphasizing “cooperation on intelligence”, after a meeting with Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara.
Accompanied by the Ivorian Ministers of Defence Hamed Bakayoko and Interior Sidiki Diakité, with whom working meetings were scheduled for Monday, Castaner also expressed the willingness of France and Côte d’Ivoire to “combat smuggling activities” with migrants and weapons.
He also mentioned the fight against illegal immigration, considering that there were “too many Ivorians who arrive in France without rights or titles”.
Côte d’Ivoire, whose neighbours Burkina Faso and Mali face recurrent jihadist attacks, was hit by a jihadist attack in March 2016 in the seaside town of Grand-Bassam, near Abidjan, when attackers opened fire on the beach and hotels killing 19 people.
Several other attacks have been thwarted thanks to the collaboration of the Ivorian, Malian, Burkinabe and French intelligence services, according to Ivorian and French security sources.
Castaner stressed the strength of the Ivorian economy, saying that the country should be helped to develop rather than young people “imagine that there are European Eldorados”.