Côte d’Ivoire: International Counter-Terrorism Academy officially open

By Benjamin Roger, in Jacqueville

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Posted on June 11, 2021 14:56

On Thursday, 10 June, Côte d’Ivoire’s Prime Minister Patrick Achi and France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian inaugurated the International Counter-Terrorism Academy, an education and training centre for special forces units.

Several people toil away – sweating in the process – next to a hut and a fake body in the middle of the Ivorian bush. A Toyota Hilux truck is parked nearby with its doors open. The group of students includes a policeman from Chad, a military officer from Burkina Faso and another from Senegal as well as an army major from Ghana.

Equipped with gloves, bags and markers, they try to gather as much evidence as possible. On the ground is a Kalashnikovs imitation, a computer, mobile phones, USB sticks and material for making an improvised explosive device. “A portion of the equipment comes from Gao and was salvaged during Operation Barkhane. The goal is to reproduce real-world situations,” said one of the French trainers, a lieutenant colonel who declined to be named.

The academy is setting its sights beyond the region, opening its training programmes to Central and East African countries like

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