From The Conversation:
While the Grand-Bassam attack took many people by surprise, such an event was predictable. Warnings had been issued, as they had been in Dakar, Senegal too. Reinforcements had been called on over the previous weeks.
The events come at a time when speculation has been rife about the uncontrolled proliferation in the Northern part of the country of Salafist mosques which might be used to stash weapons. These rumours have not been thoroughly verified. It is reasonable to assume that the Bassam attack was carried out using an organisational structure located outside of Côte d’Ivoire. The noms de guerre of the three terrorists, released by AQIM, suggest only one was Ivoirian (“Al Ansari”), while the two others come from a known pool of very young AQIM recruits from the Sahel region.
Clues as to how the situation will evolve can be found by examining the political class. The shock wave from the attacks seems to have bridged, however temporarily, the deep schisms of a country freshly emerged from a lengthy internal crisis. The trial of ex-President Gbagbo, accused by the International Criminal Court of crimes against humanity, began in late January. It has revived strong socio-political tensions and awakened painful memories of a lingering crisis, because of the bungled national reconciliation process.
Nevertheless, the attack benefited some on the national political scene. It diverted attention away from the bad press the government had been getting because of the trial of Gbagbo and his co-defendant, Charlé Blé Goudé. It allowed for the sudden resurgence of Bakayoko following the reasonably effective management of the attack by Ivorian security forces.
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