23 March 2019
Eurojust held the first coordination meeting with West African countries on 21 and 22 March to discuss the judicial follow-up to four terrorist attacks. The attacks took place on 7 March and 20 November 2015 in Bamako (Mali), on 15 January 2016 in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), and on 13 March 2016 in Grand Bassam (Ivory Coast), with 74 people killed and many others injured.
The meeting was organised at the request of France and gathered, apart from the French judicial authorities, judicial representatives from Mali, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, as well as other EU Member States and third countries that were affected by the attacks. Representatives from Europol and INTERPOL also participated.
This coordination meeting at Eurojust was the first of its kind with West African countries regarding terrorist attacks. As indicated by the French counter-terrorism Investigating Judge, Mr David De Pas, the focus was not only on exchanging operational information on ongoing investigations, but also on sharing information on victims and taking stock of the current terrorist threat in the West African region.
The judicial enquiries on terrorism cases rely on efficient multilateral cooperation. As stated by the prosecutor of Abidjan, Mr Richard Christophe Adou: 'If we want to successfully combat a network, we have to work together as a network'.
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Ton van Lierop
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