Abidjan (AFP)

The French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, estimated Thursday that "the scourge of terrorism is not inevitable", by participating in the inauguration in Côte d'Ivoire of the International Academy for the fight against terrorism (AILCT).

"The scourge of terrorism is not inevitable either in Africa or elsewhere, it is a threat that we must fight, as we will continue to do in the Sahel and as we will do here together," said Mr. Le Drian by inaugurating this academy in Jacqueville, near Abidjan, alongside Ivorian Prime Minister Patrick Achi and his Minister of Defense, Téné Birahima Ouattara.

"We do it with consistency and pragmatism, by mobilizing the best specialists in optimal infrastructures", according to the head of French diplomacy.

"We know that our responsibility is to fight together this common enemy whose abuses in the Sahel concern us directly, because on the threat map, the Sahel is the southern border of Europe and the northern border of the Gulf States. from Guinea, ”he said.

According to him, "it is very precisely the meaning and the vocation of the AILCT (...) which will now be able to operate at full capacity".

"As we conceived it together, as it exists today, the AICLT is at the same time an interministerial school of executives, a center of training and hardening of the units of intervention and an institute of strategic research, ”he explained.

The creation of the AILCT in West Africa where several countries are prey to jihadist attacks - Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqmi), Islamic State organization (EI), Boko Haram - had been formalized in November 2017 by French Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Ivorian Alassane Ouattara, on the sidelines of a summit between the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) in Abidjan.

"With the support of France, Europeans, and the international community, the states of the region must intensify their military cooperation, their security cooperation and their judicial cooperation" and "by acting with the same energy and the same exacting standards on the subject. 'whole spectrum of counterterrorism,' according to Mr. Le Drian.

He specified that the AICLT had to welcome and train "police officers, soldiers, gendarmes, magistrates or even customs officers and staff of prison administrations", but that "it is also a place of exchange where they can pool their experience and to weave networks whose added value will not fail to be felt in these times of crisis ".

"It is now necessary that all the actors of the region fully appropriate this exceptional tool, while intensifying their common engagement against the groups which threaten them", he added.

© 2021 AFP