France to station troops in Ivory Coast following attack on beach resort – French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve

Paris will station a force of armed gendarmes in the capital of Burkina Faso to react swiftly in the event of another attack in the region and to provide training, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says.

GRAND BASSAM, IVORY COAST (MARCH 15, 2016) (REUTERS) – French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault met with French expatriates living in Grand Bassam beach resort on Tuesday (March 15), two days after the attack that killed 18 people there.

Al Qaeda’s North African branch said the attack was revenge for a French offensive against Islamist militants in the Sahel region and called for its forces to withdraw.

Cazeneuve said France would strengthen its security cooperation with Ivory Coast and station members of the GIGN, France’s elite police forces.

“We have decided to position some troops from the GIGN (elite French police forces) in Ouagadougou who will be able to swiftly intervene in the region in case of attack to provide some training and some assistance in the case of serious terrorist attacks. I wanted to share that with you today,” Cazeneuve said.

Cazeneuve and his Ivorian counterpart Ahmed Bakayoko both praised the cooperation between the two countries.

The raid in Grand Bassam claimed by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb was the first of its kind in Ivory Coast but the third in the region since November.

It was a setback for France, who lost four of its nationals when gunmen opened fire on people eating lunch at restaurants and sunning themselves on the sand.