May 30, 2023

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Côte d’Ivoire Welcomes Burkinabe Refugees

In its ordinary session on April 12, 2023, the National Security Council of Côte d’Ivoire, chaired by the Head of State, Alassane Ouattara, decided to create two transport bases in the departments of Ouangolodougou in the north and Bona in the north. To the east of the country, the number has risen to eighteen thousand today to temporarily accommodate Burkinabe refugees who have fled their country due to insecurity.

For a gesture of unity, it really is one. However, this is a commendable act to be welcomed, especially as it contributes in some way to the fight against the effects of terrorism. Because by providing food and shelter to these refugees, Côte d’Ivoire recognizes the adage of bringing water to put out a fire when a neighbor’s hut is on fire. But beyond the humanitarian nature of the initiative, this hospitality will allow the host country to better identify those entering its territory. This is important because among these suffering populations sometimes infiltrators harbor malicious individuals, not to mention terrorist fighters disguised as refugees. The case of Burkina Faso is instructive in this regard. Indeed, among many refugees, especially from Mali, which was welcomed on its soil between 2012 and 2021, there were unfortunately evil engineers, some of whom, like snakes, did not hesitate to bite the hand that fed them. Houphouët Boigny has to say whether the country was right in making this decision, both on humanitarian and security grounds.

Refugees should be called upon to prove that they deserve the hospitality offered to them

It is true that hosting these refugees by Ivorian families is part of African unity. But admittedly there are a lot of risks involved in doing this. There is therefore a need to move towards a more secure reception system, especially as the number of refugees increases. Anyway, as the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”, especially since Côte d’Ivoire is already in the eye of the terrorist storm. That is why it is necessary to invite refugees who benefit from the leniency of the Ivorian authorities, to show themselves worthy of the hospitality offered to them, so that Côte d’Ivoire does not regret its charity.

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While waiting for the two reception sites to become operational, this is another act of solidarity that Burkina has yet to salute. We remember that the regime of Alassane Ouattara provided Burkina with weapons and rolling stock to equip its units within the framework of a joint operation on the Ivorian-Burkinabe border. Proof, if any, that Burkina and Cote d’Ivoire are two sister countries with a common destiny. This means that both states benefit from combining their efforts against terrorist HYDRA. Also, there is no need to remind that there is no single victory in the fight against terrorism.