Ivory Coast: towards the “remodeling” of the French military presence

Ivory Coast: towards the “remodeling” of the French military presence

Jean-Marie Bockel, French President Emmanuel Macron’s envoy for Africa, spoke on Wednesday with the Ivorian head of state Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, discussing “a remodelling” of the French military presence in Ivory Coast.

“The term [remodeled] seems the clearest. Because it is a global meeting. There is the presence dimension (…). Some devices exist (…). 

There are also other aspects which already exist in terms of improving support for the Ivorian military presence in the northern zone, questions of intelligence, questions of development of this or that element of the army (…), to which our friends Ivorians are attached, on which we have a certain partnership, committed expertise”, declared the envoy of the French president.

“In certain aspects, there will be developments. Here things can, in certain aspects, be less and, stronger, in other aspects. This is what will be the subject of a partnership. The remodelling seems to me to be the right state of mind. This is the reason why we have been in an extremely positive development,” indicated Jean-Marie Bockel.

Earlier, Jean-Marie Bockel had discussed with President Alassane Ouattara the prospects for the evolution of the military and security partnership between Côte d’Ivoire and France.

“The President took the time to listen to us, but also to give us his vision of this country and the regional environment, both the prospects and the problems we face,” said Jean-Marie Bockel.

Thus, it appears necessary to continue exchanges and dialogue with the Ivorian authorities on military and security issues to reach an agreement on a new military and security partnership between Côte d’Ivoire and France.

The same was true for the prospects of strengthening the sovereign military force of Côte d’Ivoire.

Rise to power

In this regard, Jean-Marie Bockel welcomed the rise in both quantitative and qualitative power of the defense and security forces of Côte d’Ivoire.

“The strengthening of the sovereign military force of Côte d’Ivoire, the rise in power both quantitatively and qualitatively and the relationship on this issue is not a blank page. 

There is work that has been done, and conventions that have been passed. We are in this dynamic and in this continuity, but we have discussed new perspectives on different partnerships on which we have things to do”, underlined the French host.

“I come to Ivory Coast and it is not by chance” he added. “We will continue this mission. The spirit is to come with proposals, listening to military issues seen in this prism, then a dialogue.”

France has nearly 950 soldiers within the French forces in Ivory Coast, and nearly 10,000 forces in sub-Saharan Africa.

Jean-Marie Bockel was appointed on February 6 and will present his report next July for a redeployment of French forces in Africa.

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