Ivory Coast army mutiny enters third day | Africa | DW | 14.05.2017
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Africa

Ivory Coast army mutiny enters third day

Revolting army soldiers have taken control of several cities, including Ivory Coast's second largest. Protests against the mutiny have been met with violence.

Revolting soldiers killed one person and wounded at least four others protesting against an army mutiny in Ivory Coast's second-largest city on Sunday.

The mutiny started on Friday as soldiers took to the streets in the central city of Bouake and seized control of the main entrances into the city in a protest over pay.

The soldiers, ex-rebel fighters who were integrated into the army, also revolted in several other towns, including Korhogo and Daloa. They rebelled in the economic capital of Abidjan on Friday, before being pushed back by loyalists.

Six people were reported injured by the mutineers on Saturday.

An attempt between the rebels and military commanders to negotiate in Bouake on Saturday failed to find a solution. The rebels have warned they will fight if the army attempts to intervene.

The defense minister has vowed not to negotiate. The army chief threatened severe punishment if the mutinous soldiers do not return to their barracks.  

Bouake is where a similar army revolt by former rebel fighters broke out in January.

The government settled the mutiny by promising to pay each soldier 18,000 euros ($19,680), with an initial front payment of about 7,620 euros in January. The rest was to be paid this month, but the revolting soldiers say they have not received the money.

The revolting soldiers were integrated into the army after a decade-long civil war ended in 2011. Many of the ex-rebel fighters had fought to bring President Alassane Ouattara to power.

Ivory Coast, the world's largest cocoa producer, emerged from the war with one of the fastest growing economies in the world. But a more than one-third drop in the price of its main export crop over the past year has strained finances.

cw/jlw (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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