Enhancing border stabilization and fostering community engagement to prevent and counter terrorism and transnational organized crime in remote northern border areas of Côte d'Ivoire.
Remote northern border areas of Côte d'Ivoire.
The challenge

Since its first deadly attack in 2016, Côte d’Ivoire has experienced a wave of attacks and attempts to expand by jihadist groups in the regions bordering Burkina Faso. The porous nature of borders and the high-level of poverty and weak presence of the state fuel the expansion of criminal activities in border areas and allow terrorist groups to move easily in areas with limited State presence. The threat is further aggravated by the limited operational and strategic capacity of the Government actors in charge of security in border areas and the deterioration of the political and security situation, especially in border areas, in neighboring countries such as Mali and Burkina Faso, and to some extent Guinea and Ghana.

In addition, despite the efforts of the Ivorian government, the limited human resources, infrastructure, and material and financial resources available hinder the ability of agents to detect and limit terrorist activities and related transnational organized crime.

The project

The project will strengthen the capacity of law enforcement officers and judicial actors working in border regions to detect, investigate, prosecute and prevent cross-border terrorism cases, including those linked to foreign terrorist fighters and trafficking of illegal commodities. It will also promote communities’ involvement, especially youth and women, in the prevention and fight against terrorism and related transnational organized crime, and create socio-economic opportunities and access to basic public social services in vulnerable border areas.


The project is divided into three components: 

  1. Improved border security through strengthened capacities of criminal justice officials to detect, investigate, prosecute and adjudicate instances of terrorism, including foreign terrorist fighters, and related forms of crime.
  2. Increase awareness and understanding of the nexus between terrorism and transnational organized crime, and provide capacity building on policies, procedures, skills and tools to address this nexus
  3. Foster community engagement in preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism, and strengthening resilience and trust between communities and border security authorities based on transparency, communication, protection of human rights and promotion of the rule of law.
Expected impact

The project will overall contribute to strengthening Côte d'Ivoire's border security policies and mechanisms while seeking cooperation with northern neighboring countries to prevent and counter terrorism and its links to transnational organized crime. It will enhance cross-border collaboration between border security agencies and communities in a holistic and coordinated approach. It will strengthen effective surveillance and monitoring of remote border areas through a broad and consistent presence of trained law enforcement and border security agents, as well as dialogue between border communities and law enforcement. 

Joint cross-border operations between Côte d’Ivoire and its neighboring countries will be conducted to reduce illicit trafficking and undetected movements of individuals who could be linked to terrorism or organized crime. It will increase the number of community-based initiatives to address root causes of radicalization including by providing socio-economic opportunities to women and youth.

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