Ivory Coast defense minister says deal reached with soldiers
Ivory Coast defense minister says deal reached with soldiers
Uncertainty as mutinous Ivory Coast soldiers reject government proposal to end revolt
17 May, 2017, 13:29
Soldiers who staged a nationwide mutiny in Ivory Coast have reached an agreement with the government on bonus payments and have agreed to return to barracks, ending a revolt that paralysed cities and towns across the country for four days.
The government paid the mutineers - a lot of them former rebels who helped Ouattara to power - 5 million CFA francs ($8,400) each to end an uprising in January. "We are returning to barracks now", said Sergeant Seydou Kone, one of the revolt's leaders.
"We've found an agreement with the government, the corridors are open again", Cisse said.
Border posts closed, halting road traffic to Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, while IvoryCoast's second biggest city, Bouake, was under the control of mutinous soldiers.
Gunfire was heard overnight in Bouake and at military camps in Abidjan.
Clashes were also reported near the presidential palace in the capital Abidjan and more significantly in areas vital to the cocoa industry. The soldiers were promised 12 million CFA francs ($19,936) for backing Ouattara after former President Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept an election defeat in 2010, but they've received less than half of the cash.
Alain-Richard Donwahi said an agreement had been reached with the soldiers who have taken to the streets in protest in the country's largest cities.
The current round of trouble began when on Thursday a soldier presented as a spokesman for some 8,400 former rebels said in a televised ceremony that they wished to apologise to President Alassane Ouattara for the mutiny and were giving up their demand for huge payouts.
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More than 200 commercial trucks were stranded on the roadside after mutinous soldiers sealed off the southern entrance to Bouake. But the government has struggled to pay the remaining bonuses of 7 million CFA francs.
IvoryCoast emerged from a decade of political crisis capped by a civil war in 2011 as one of the world's fastest growing economies.
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The rebellious soldiers have now rejected further negotiations with the government, vowing to fight back if pro-government soldiers intervene.
"All businesses are closed here in Daloa".
Another 2m francs will then be paid at the end of next month. "It's intense", said an Abidjan resident who lives near the USA embassy and the presidential residence.
Many schools in Abidjan remained closed, though the African Development Bank told its thousands of global staff that they could return to their downtown offices.
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