The tattooed are no longer welcome in the Ivorian gendarmerie, its commander, General Alexandre Apalo Touré, believing that one could wonder about their "state of mind".
"Tattoos are prohibited in this establishment", launched General Touré during a speech this week to cadets, considering that they were incompatible with the values of the gendarmerie.
"Someone who has traced a certain number of elements on his body, sometimes the heads of a lion, an elephant, a rhinoceros, we wonder about his state of mind," he added.
“While some are censored for being too small, we cannot admit some who make their bodies look frightening,” General Touré concluded.
These statements drew some sceptical reactions on social media in Côte d'Ivoire, with some deeming it to be "retrograde" remarks or a "useless" measure while others posted photos of American marines to extensively tattooed arms.
The commander of the gendarmerie urged the aspiring gendarmes not to "burn their bodies" to erase any tattoos, assuring that there were other means of serving the country than entering the institution.