France has announced it will increase the number of troops in Ivory Coast.
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Friday made this declaration on a trip to the West African nation which hosts a regional base for French forces.
The increase has already been budgeted for and comes at a time of growing regional terror threats, especially after an Islamist attack on the beach resort of Grand Bassam near Abidjan in March.
19 people died in that attack.“I confirm the increase in numbers of French forces here in Abidjan from 500 to 900 as part of the reorganization of our forces. They form the forward operating base for West Africa,” Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.
Abidjan is one of three “reservoirs” of French troops in the world, along with Djibouti and the United Arab Emirates.
These countries provide entry points to the different regions.
The forces can be deployed to support French troops engaged in external operations.
It also trains about 600 Ivorian soldiers each year.