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Ivory Coast Soldier Mutiny Ends After President Agrees Soldiers Demands

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast : Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara said a deal between the government and disgruntled soldiers had been reached on Saturday ending a two-day army mutiny that renewed security concerns in the world's top cocoa producer and Africa's fastest growing economy.
The two-day mutiny had paralyzed several cities. Pres Ouattara told reporters following an extraordinary cabinet meeting that he agreed to take into account the soldiers’ demands over the payment of bonuses and improvement of their living and working conditions. The revolt spread to Abidjan, the West African nation’s largest city, on Saturday. Gunfire erupted in a military camp on the eastern outskirts, where soldiers carrying semi-automatic weapons barricaded the main roads near the barracks and in other parts of the city, turning back motorists.


The agreement was reached after Defense Minister Alain Donwahi flew to Bouake, where the revolt began on Friday, and met with the disgruntled soldiers. According to the mayor of Bouake, Nicolas Djibo, he and the minister and about 20 other people were held for less than two hours on Saturday evening by a faction of the soldiers who wanted more details about when they will get their bonuses and were seeking to be paid immediately. The group was finally able to leave just before 10 p.m.


Gunfire erupted when the minister and other officials initially tried to leave the house, Djibo said. Later they were released, and the minister is returning to Abidjan, Djibo said.
Ivory Coast had been recovering from a decade of crisis that ended in 2011, and economic growth has averaged 9 percent since 2012.
President Ouatarra was however not happy with the methods used by soldiers to express their grievances . He said.“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.”

 

AfricaTeam
 

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