Terrorism: Cote d’Ivoire between insidious dissemination and militarization of the response.

Lassina Diarra, researcher on Islamism and terrorism in West Africa, for Centre4s.

Geographically and demographically as well, Cote d’Ivoire is largely a continuum of the Sahel-Sahara space. That location induces a share of vulnerability, especially since the country has been hurt, more than once, with assaults by non-national attackers (Grand-Bassam March 2016 and Kafolo June 2020) thus revealing the nature and configuration that exogenous terrorist threat poses to the country. However, the statement of France Intelligence Director, on February 1, 2021, puts that assumption into perspective. He stated that many coastal states, including Côte d’Ivoire, are facing a major process of terrorist groups dissemination. Admittedly, the Cote d’Ivoire has not yet reached the degree or the intensity of violence omnipresence observed in the Sahel, though a number of actions and alerts lead to substantiate that fear. Based on both Antonio Gramsci thinking – the theory of cultural hegemony – and the literature on local Islam, as a theoretical framework, this paper analyzes and tries to identify the leanings of the sliding from the field of piety to that of social belligerence, in Côte d’Ivoire, especially in a context of political tensions which mask, or makes less sensitive, the propensity of sectarian friendliness of some social groups.

Ending indecision in the Sahel

A G 5 Sahel–France Summit is due to take place on 15 February in Ndjamena, Chad. Eight years after the successful deployment of French troops in Mali, the time has come for the allies to evaluate the situation so as to avoid the crumbling of the national consensuses on the conflict and to prevent their armies from getting bogged down. At the moment their most daunting enemy is the continuation of the status quo. How can they escape it?



Sahel: Mali, junta and security.

Most of the opposition to President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK) has hailed the August 18, 2020 coup d’état. They were hoping that the National Council for People Salvation (CNSP) would spare Mali from violent terrorists’ attacks and inter community killings as well as preventing a disastrous economic, social and political crisis. The return to civilians rule after a short Transition was also part of their expectations. The rampant occupation of the political space by the military has disseminated doubts.

Sahel and Mali still more crises to come.

In the Sahel, with Covid 19, 2020 will be a pivotal year in the fight against armed groups, some of which are supported from outside. Moreover, a year of Partnerships and quest for coherence in cooperative policies. Finally, a year of thinking on the responsibility to deliver, and thus to putting an end to conflicts. Despite Covid19 perverse effects and an increasing internationalisation.