Ivory Coast government reaches deal to end army mutiny -president

A still image from video that shows soldiers standing at a checkpoint in Bouake, Ivory Coast January 6, 2017. REUTERS/via Reuters TV

By Ange Aboa-BOUAKE, Ivory Coast (Reuters) – Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said on Saturday that the government had reached an agreement with disgruntled soldiers on Saturday to end a two-day revolt that had spread unrest across the West African nation.


Read more:Defence minister alain richard donwahi arrived in bouake


The uprising began early on Friday when the soldiers – mainly former rebel fighters – demanding wage increases and bonuses – seized Bouake, the second-largest city. Over the next two days, soldiers at military camps in cities and towns including the commercial capital, Abidjan, joined the mutiny.

Speaking to his government ministers and reporters, Ouattara said he had agreed to take into account the soldiers grievances concerning bonus payments and living and working conditions.

“I would like to say that this manner of making demands is not appropriate. It tarnishes the image of our country after all our efforts to revive the economy,” Ouattara said before calling upon the soldiers to return to barracks.

Ivory Coast – French-speaking West Africa’s largest economy – has emerged from a 2002-11 political crisis as one of the continent’s rising economic stars.

However, years of conflict and a failure to reform its army, thrown together from a patchwork of former rebel fighters and government soldiers, have left it with an unruly force hobbled by internal divisions.


You may like to read more on:mutinying soldiers entered ivory coasts-military headquarters/


A member of the uprising close to the negotiations, which took place in Bouake and were led by Defence Minister Alain-Richard Donwahi, said the mutineers were preparing to leave the streets.

“It’s over,” Sergeant Mamadou Kone told Reuters. “Some of our soldiers will remain in place to manage the security of shops and banks, but the majority of soldiers will return to barracks beginning tonight.”

Passengers are seen in Djebonoua, near Bouake, as disgruntled soldiers demanding salary increases seized the city of Bouake, Ivory Coast, January 6, 2017. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon
Mutinous soldiers who have taken control of Bouake are seen at a checkpoint in Bouake, Ivory Coast January 6, 2017. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon
Soldiers who have taken control of Bouake are seen at a checkpoint in Bouake, Ivory Coast January 6, 2017. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon
U.N. peacekeepers are seen outside Bouake, as disgruntled soldiers demanding salary increases seized the city of Bouake, Ivory Coast, January 6, 2017. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon
Trucks are seen parked along a road in Djebonoua, near Bouake, as disgruntled soldiers demanding salary increases seized the city of Bouake, Ivory Coast, January 6, 2017. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon
Passengers are seen in Djebonoua, near Bouake, as disgruntled soldiers demanding salary increases seized the city of Bouake, Ivory Coast, January 6, 2017. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon
A convoy of the United Nation blue peacekeepers from Senegal is seen parked along a road in Bouake, Ivory Coast, January 6, 2017. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

The revolt came two years after hundreds of soldiers barricaded roads in cities across Ivory Coast demanding back pay in a near identical uprising.

Then too the government agreed a deal that included amnesty from punishment and a financial settlement for the mutineers. The repeat of such a solution raises the risk they could be encouraged to do it again.

(Additional reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Additional reporting and writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Tim Cocks and Susan Thomas)

Sharing is caring!

Next page

Mareeg senior news editor since 2001 and he can be reached at news@mareeg.com