The Ivorian government at the end of an extraordinary cabinet meeting on Monday announced the creation of an “operational zone” in the north of the country to boost the capacities of its troops deployed at the borders and to fight terrorism.“This Northern Operational Zone will allow us to move from the border surveillance phase to a defensive posture with a strong capacity for reversibility on an offensive mission, in order to prevent any infiltration of these armed groups into the national territory,” said Sidi Tiemoko Toure, the Ivorian government spokesman in a statement sent to APA at the end of the meeting.
He went on to say that the “Northern Operational Area” would have several objectives.
Among other things, it will make it possible to reinforce the operational capacities of the troops deployed to strengthen the ‘Frontieres Etanches’ (Waterproof Borders) operation, particularly in the north of Cote d’Ivoire, to have a single command for military operations and for all activities relating to the operational defense of the territory.
This is a view to improving coordination between all the defense and security forces in the area.
It will also help organize civil defense in the fight against terrorism and coordinate with military operations.
The establishment of this operational zone comes a month after a terrorist attack on a position of the Ivorian armed forces (FACI) in Kafolo in the northeast of the country on June 11, which left 14 soldiers dead and five others injured.
The Ivorian authorities have announced the arrest of several suspected terrorists blamed for the attack.
They include a Burkinabe national called Ali Sidibe, also known as Sofiane.
He is accused of being the main coordinator of the attack.