Cross-border Terrorism: African Police Officers Discuss Prevention Techniques
They are from six Sahel nations where militant attacks have recently been on the increase.
Sub-Saharan Africa is notorious for instability often attributed to tough environmental conditions, poverty, recurrent famines and flourishing militant attacks on unsuspecting security and military forces.
It is with a view to stemming such terrorist activities that some 26 senior officials in charge of border security from Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad are gathered in Grand-Bassam, 30 km from Abidjan, the Ivoirian capital.
The five-day training that started on April 19, 2018 is organised by the International Organisation for Migration, IOM. The objective of the workshop is to enhance technical skills and strengthen border security cooperation between the terrorismprone nations.
Cross-border insecurity has been topical in West Africa, especially with the recent attacks in Burkina Faso and Mali. Côte d'Ivoire experienced its first terrorist attack on March 13, 2006 on Grand-Bassam Beach, which claimed 22 lives.
The attackers were linked to those who struck on March 2, 2018 in Ouagadougou, the Burkinabe capital, and earlier on January 27, 2018 when 14 soldiers were killed and 18 wounded in Mali’s restive north. Some 38 Grand-Bassam attack suspects were later picked up in Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal, thanks to collaboration between regional and international intelligence services.
A World Bank study entitled, “The Challenge of Stability and Security in West Africa,” notes that the subregion is making impressive progress in economic growth, democratization and regional cooperation. Though efforts to prevent conflicts have also improved, contributing to overall stability, several cross-border security challenges remain, it says.