Section III. Status of Societal Respect for Religious Freedom
On March 13, a group of six attackers killed 22 people and injured 33 others in Grand Bassam. The terrorists allegedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the attack; Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Al-Mourabitoun claimed responsibility for the attack. Several religious leaders responded to the issue. The High Council of Imams expressed its deep sorrow after the “horrifying” attack and denounced the “barbaric methods” of the extremists. Members of the Ahmadiyya Islamic Mission Community publicly denounced it as “an atrocious act” after news reports suggested that a leaflet distributed the day of the attack was linked to their community. The Catholic Church called for “peaceful coexistence” among citizens.
The National Forum of Religious Confessions held a peace conference a week after the attack, which included Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, and Seventh-day Adventist religious leaders. A spokesman and member of the National Islamic Council stated at the conference that “no religion should lead somebody to kill his or her fellow beings.”
On the Day of Remembrance for those killed during the terrorist attack in Grand Bassam, held a week after the attack, the government hosted a public interfaith ceremony attended by the president and the first lady at which a priest and an imam said prayers for the victims and an indigenous priest made an offering.