Ivorian Prime Minister Patrick Achi, visiting the north of the country, announced on Saturday the launch of a vast social aid plan for young people in these border regions of Mali and Burkina Faso, where jihadist groups are trying to recruit.
“We all know that the root cause of most crises and instability in our subcontinent is idleness. It pushes certain young people won over by despair, attracted by the mirage of easy wars, to acts of destabilization.“said Patrick Achi. The head of government was speaking from Tougbo, a locality very close to the Burkinabè border where three soldiers were killed last June when their vehicle ran over an explosive device.
This social plan will notably finance labor contracts in public works, apprenticeships and will encourage the development of income-generating activities. It is intended for 19,000 young people from six regions of Côte d’Ivoire, for a total cost of 8.6 billion CFA francs (13 million euros), paid 75% by the State and 25% via a contract debt reduction and development plan concluded with the French Development Agency.
Supervised on Saturday in Tougbo by several ministers, Patrick Achi hammered home the need “to fight the terrorist hydra», by the alliance of «military and development effort“. The movement of the Prime Minister, who arrived by helicopter, was carried out under high security, with a heavy military device.
In 2020 and 2021, Tougbo and its surroundings have experienced several jihadist attacks and the region is classified as a red zone – formally not recommended for travelers – by several Western chancelleries. The village has also been hosting thousands of refugees for several months from the south of neighboring Burkina Faso, fleeing deadly attacks sometimes perpetrated just a few kilometers from the border.