The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Ivory Coast:
Jihadist Criminals ... and What Gives Rise to Them

Mar 28, 2016

This article appeared in the March 18th issue of Lutte Ouvrière (Workers Struggle), the paper of the revolutionary workers group of that name active in France.

On March 13th, there was a terrorist attack in Grand-Bassam in Ivory Coast, which killed 15 and wounded 33. In this seaside resort 66 miles from the Ivorian capital, a commando from al-Qaida of the Islamic Maghreb opened fire on everyone on the beach, before going into the hotels to continue the butchery.

This is the first time Ivory Coast was hit by this type of attack, but it’s not surprising. The development of the situation proves that the Jihadist groups are choosing to attack everywhere in the region and they are succeeding in this. When the French army intervened on January 2013 in Mali, French president François Hollande claimed he was going to eradicate terrorism. These groups were definitely chased out of Mali’s northern cities where they led a reign of terror, but then they targeted areas where the French didn’t go. They aimed at Mali’s south and center, with terrorist attacks in the capital Bamako in November 2015, where 20 people were killed in the Radisson Blue hotel. Then they attacked in the country of Burkina Faso, where they machine gunned the outside cafes of Ouagadougou, the capital, before entrenching themselves in the Hotel Splendid.

Each time, these are places Europeans go which are symbolically taken as targets, places where tourists go, also foreign workers and foreign nationals living abroad. But each time, most of the victims are Africans employed in the hotels and restaurants or simply passing by. The attackers open fire on anyone they meet, showing their scorn of the population, whatever the color of their skin or their religion, with the only goal being to cause a reign of terror. This was the case in Grand-Bassam, Ivory Coast, where the people on the beach fled anywhere they could to escape the bullets, while protecting their children, when they didn’t lose them in the scramble.

The spread of such acts shows the emptiness of Hollande’s claim to end Jihadist terrorism by deploying the French army in Africa. The policy led by the imperialist powers in the world, in the Middle East and in Africa, created the compost in which such groups continually arise. The leaders who carry out this policy, in Paris, Washington and London, foster this situation. Everywhere they create new hotbeds of tension as they defend the profits of their imperialism. They are mortal enemies of the population, just like the Jihadists.