Abidjan, Sébastien Lecornu welcomes “remarkable efforts” of Ivorian security apparatus

This is the second visit in seven months of the French Minister of the Armed Forces in Côte d’Ivoire, one of the strongest allies in Paris in West Africa.


Visit Abidjan in a context of increasing dispute from France to West Africa, the Minister of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, praised, on Monday, February 20, the “remarkable efforts made in the rise of the power of ‘Safety apparatus in Côte d’Ivoire “. “The Army of Côte d’Ivoire has nothing to do today with that of ten years ago,” he added at the end of a meeting with President Alassane Ouattara: ” This makes Côte d’Ivoire a country of stability whose role of regional equilibrium power is increasingly established. “

m. Lecornu, of which this is the second visit to seven months in Côte d’Ivoire, also met his Ivorian counterpart, Téné Birahima Ouattara. In addition to the security situation in the region, where several countries are faced with jihadist violence and coups, the questions of the predation of raw materials and drug trafficking were discussed, as well as that of the war in Ukraine .

Côte d’Ivoire is one of the most solid allies in France in West Africa. Paris has some 950 soldiers in French forces in Côte d’Ivoire (FFCI), a number that could be reduced in the coming years, while responding more targeted to Ivorian needs. “President Emmanuel Macron asked us to reflect on the re -articulation of the French presence in Africa,” explained Mr. Lecornu, detailing partnership projects with Côte d’Ivoire: a part of “training” of the Ivorian army and another “more capacitarian” part concerning equipment for the air force and earth.

withdrawal from Mali and Burkina

On Sunday, neighboring Burkina Faso announced the official end of the “saber” French force operations on its soil, a few weeks after denouncing the defense agreement linking the two countries. According to the Minister’s entourage, relations with Ouagadougou are “neutral” and the redeployment of “saber” is “discreetly”. “It would be dishonest to say that this redeployment, in coordination with the Burkinabé authorities, does not go well,” we continue from the same source.

No decision has been officially taken for the moment concerning a possible redeployment in other African countries, and part of these forces should first return to France. This withdrawal follows that of the French forces of Mali, completed in August 2022, at the request of the military putschist in power in this country – as in Burkina Faso. In the entourage of the French Minister, we recognize that the rise of the support group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), affiliated with Al-Qaeda, is “proven”, adding that a large part of Malian territory is out of state control.

/Media reports cited above.