Sorrow for the victims of the attack in Grand-Bassam. Let us defend peace and coexistence in the Ivory Coast and West Africa

The Community of Sant'Egidio, which has been present in the Ivory Coast for years, expresses its sorrow for the victims of yesterday’s attack on the Grand-Bassam beach, which is not an exclusive place for Westerners, but a meeting place for ordinary people on festive days. The terrorist attack has hit a country symbol of the coexistence between different ethnic groups, where the different religions - especially Christianity and Islam - have always lived in peace, and where the serious crisis lasting from 2002 to early 2011, with episodes of civil war, had had political but not religious origins.
The attack is part of a strategy that wants to hit the whole of West Africa, and that has already claimed many victims in Nigeria, Mali and recently in Burkina Faso. Sant'Egidio, engaged - next to its friendship with the poor - in the work for peace in the Ivory Coast and in the entire region, believes that it is necessary to invest in dialogue, to strengthen coexistence and support the people that heavily, after the recent political crises, are rebuilding the foundation for social and economic development.