At least six armed men attacked beach goers outside three hotels Sunday in Grand-Bassam, sending tourists fleeing through the historic Ivory Coast resort town.
Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara said that 14 civilians and six assailants have been killed.
Immediately after the attack, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM) took responsibility for the attack, jihadist monitoring organization SITE Intelligence Group said.
Bloody bodies were sprawled on the beach in photos apparently taken at the scene and posted on social media. It is unclear whether any attackers got away.
CBS News Sarah Carter reports the attackers started on the beach and moved up to a hotel popular with expats and middle-class Ivorians before moving on to others.
A witness told CBS News guns, grenades and ammunition clips were found lying around one of the hotels.
Josiane Sekongo, 25, said shots rang out Sunday afternoon
Former Republic of Congo presidential security affairs adviser Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko has added to the number of those seeking to unseating the long-serving President Denis Sassou Nguesso.
General Mokoko said his joining the race was informed by a strong desire by the Congolese to take charge of their destiny. The former security chief will be standing as an independent candidate in the March 20 presidential election.
“I think the time has come for me to be the voice of the voiceless,” he told Le Monde Afrique on Monday.
“Times are hard and the political situation in Congo keeps getting worse. We need to listen to the Congolese who want to take their destiny into their hands. Denis Sassou Nguesso has to listen and bow out of the race,” Le Monde Afrique quoted Gen Mokoko as saying.
Whether it’s Al Shabaab, Burundi, or Zanzibar, a handful of regional issues are lining up to undermine East Africa’s stability and offset the most ambitious series of integrational projects in the continent’s history.
The five-nation East African Community (EAC) of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania plans to transition into a formal federation sometime in the near future, catapulting its significance from a regional to a global actor.
The integrational bloc is betting that its East African Railway Master Plan, partially financed and constructed by China, will not only do wonders for its own economic cohesiveness, but will stimulate broader sub-Saharan cooperation. The vision is that this strategic blueprint will link the prospective East African Federation (EAF) together with Ethiopia, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with the ultimate goal being to bridge Africa’s transoceanic divide by connecting to the Atlantic Ocean via the Congo River and the modernization and expansion of existing railway infrastructure in Zambia and Angola.
This enterprising and unprecedented endeavor is not without its fair share of risks, however, since the problems of Al Shabaab, Burundi, and Zanzibar might endanger the federalized integration of the EAC. Without the emergence of a coordinated geopolitical core to manage the region’s strategic infrastructural potential, China’s investments in East Africa might disappointingly fail in their forecasted multipolar function and never become anything more significant than a few scraps of steel.
During the summit’s question and answer segment, a young Kenyan woman asked President Obama to address the epidemic of ritualistic albino organ harvesting.
“Persons with albinism in Africa are being killed and their body parts harvested for ritual purposes,” the woman said. “My request to you is to raise this issue with heads of state of African countries to bring these atrocities to an end.”