President Thomas Boni Yayi of Benin and Faure Gnassingbe of Togo called for a regional response to combat terrorism after visiting the resort town of Grand Bassam where 18 people were killed in a militant attack on Sunday.
The two Presidents vowed to assist Ivory Coast fight terrorism.
#prci: SEM Yayi Boni “Le moment est venu pour nous de renforcer le cadre institutionnel de la lutte contre le terrorisme. “— Presidenceci (@Presidenceci) March 15, 2016
Ivory Coast is standing up, standing up to fight the cowards and protect its people.
“Terrorism cannot be fought alone… national responses are important, but they must be augmented by regional and international response,” said the Togolese president. “No country can defeat terrorism alone,” he added.
“The phenomenon of terrorism falls under international jurisdiction,” said President Boni Yayi of Benin also added.
Photos de l'entretien avec le Présidents du Togo et du Bénin venus présenter leurs condoléances au peuple ivoirien pic.twitter.com/sGeXC1ajnr— Presidenceci (@Presidenceci) March 16, 2016
The attack at the beach resort is the first ever terrorist attack in Ivory Coast and was carried out by the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
The militant group said the attack on beach goers was revenge for French offensive against its members in the Sahel region and further called for withdrawal of French troops.
France, a key player in West African security issues has more than 3,000 troops in the region and lost four nationals in the Grand Bassam attack.
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said he will not be intimidated by the insurgency group which is slowly caving its way into West Africa.
“Ivory Coast is standing up, standing up to fight the cowards and protect its people,” Ouattara said in a statement.