JACQUEVILLE, Ivory Coast (Reuters) – Ivory Coast and France inaugurated a new counter-terrorism academy in the West African country on Thursday, intended to boost regional capacity to combat a growing Islamist threat.
The International Academy for the Fight Against Terrorism (AILCT), in the outskirts of Ivory Coast’s commercial capital Abidjan, will include a school for government officials, a training centre for special forces, and a research institute.
It comes as Ivory Coast faces increasing attacks from jihadist groups based to the north in Mali and Burkina Faso, who are trying to expand their reach toward the Gulf of Guinea. One soldier was killed in an attack in northern Ivory Coast this week.
« The questions before us are clear: how to fight effectively against terrorist groups that are more mobile than ever… how to prevent them from importing their strategy here, » said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian at the academy’s opening.
« Regional states must step up their military cooperation, their security cooperation, and their judicial cooperation, » he said, adding that AILCT will help with this goal.
France has a 5,100-strong counter-terrorism force in the Sahel region, but according to two sources French President Emmanuel Macron is due to announce a troop reduction on Thursday.
Le Drian will travel on Friday to Burkina Faso, where at least 132 civilians were killed last week in the deadliest attack in years, pushing the number of people killed by suspected Islamists in the Sahel to over 500 since January.
The primary goal of all the major players appears to force Mali back to some form of civilian rule without allowing the country to fall apart.
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Thousands of Greeks took to the streets of Athens on Thursday (June 10).They were protesting against a new labor bill that has caused months of unrest.Critics see it as a plot to introduce longer working hours.Dimitris Koutsoubas is leader of the Greek Communist Party: »The workers have the final say, the youth, who if they realize their power they can destroy this bill and send this bill to the trash bin where it belongs, so they will not live a lifetime of being slaves of the 21st century. »The government says the new measures are needed to replace antiquated laws.Those rules date from a pre-internet era when most workers clocked on at offices and factories at the same time.The new bill would create a “digital work card” to monitor hours.That would allow people to work 10 hours one day, and then fewer hours on another day.But unions say it could enable employers to force people into longer hours, and avoid paying overtime.Thursday’s protests sparked travel chaos in the capital.Ferry services were cancelled at Piraeus port, flights were rescheduled at Athens airport, and public transport was disrupted. Further protests are expected next week ahead of parliament’s vote on the bill.
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In what appear to be the final days of his historic 12-year rule, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not leaving the political stage quietly. Netanyahu says he is the victim of a “deep state” conspiracy. “They are uprooting the good and replacing it with the bad and dangerous,” Netanyahu told the conservative Channel 20 TV station this week.
– Ivory Coast opens counter-terrorism academy in partnership with France
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– Anti-terror "academy" Set Up In Ivory Coast
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