ABIDJAN MAY 16, 2017 (CISA) – Soldiers in Ivory Coast have today accepted a government proposal on bonus payments and agreed to return to barracks, ending a five-day mutiny over pay.
The proposal accepted by the soldiers’ means 8,400 mutineers will receive an immediate bonus payment of 5 million CFA francs ($8,400). Another 2 million CFA francs will then be paid at the end of next month, reported Reuters.
The former rebels who are part of Ivory Coast’s 22,000-strong army have been shooting in the air and setting up road blocks paralyzing cities and towns across the country since May 12.
The soldiers had rejected an earlier deal announced by Defence Minister Alain-Richard Donwahi late on May 15. Leaders of the uprising, however, said the agreement had been amended overnight.
“We accept the government’s proposal … We are returning to barracks now,” Sergeant Seydou Kone, one of the revolt’s spokesmen said.
The former rebels, now embedded in the army, who fought for years to get President Alassane Ouattara to power, were angry at the scrapping of a deal agreed in January to give them back pay and bonuses.
The soldiers received 5 million CFA francs ($8,400) each in order to end an earlier revolt in January.
But the government has struggled to pay remaining bonuses of 7 million CFA francs, after the collapse in world prices for cocoa, Ivory Coast’s main export, squeezed finances.
This most recent uprising erupted after a delegation representing the 8,400 troops announced it had dropped the demand for further bonuses, angering others members of the group, who said they had not been consulted.