Last month, as many as 12 members of the armed forces of Côte d’Ivoire were killed, and eight others wounded, in an attack by unidentified assailants on an outpost in Kafolo on the country’s border with Burkina Faso. While there have been no claims of responsibility for the attack, the Ivorian government immediately attributed it to Islamist extremists known to maintain an operational presence in both Burkina Faso and Mali.
A statement in this regard was made by Côte d’Ivoire’s defense minister, Hamed Bakayoko, in the immediate aftermath of the attack which he described as an act of “terrorism.” Bakayoko’s suspicions were not without merit. On May 28, al-Qaeda had issued a warning to the Ivorian government in response to its counterterrorism operations it had been carrying out in and around the Comoé National Park— a reserve located close to Cote d’Ivoire’s border with Burkina Faso. Read more