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Ivory Coast says deal reached with mutinous soldiers

Ivory Coast says deal reached with mutinous soldiers

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Ivory Coast's government has reached an agreement with mutinous soldiers who had taken to the streets in the West African nation's largest cities to demand more pay, the defense ministry said.

Residents of Bouake, the epicenter of the mutiny and Ivory Coast's second-largest city, said Tuesday that soldiers had left the streets and cleared blockades to allow the movement of vehicles. Gunfire that had been heard since Friday in various cities had gone quiet.

Defense Minister Alain-Richard Donwahi confirmed an agreement with the soldiers to end a crisis that left one person dead, many injured and businesses closed in several parts of the country.

Donwahi on Tuesday called the deal "definitive" but would not give details.

Two people have died and nine have been wounded in Bouake since last week, Donwahi said. One was killed Sunday when the soldiers used gunfire to disperse residents protesting their violence.

The soldiers are part of a group who launched a mutiny in January seeking to improve their compensation and living conditions. When a group of them apologized to President Alassane Ouattara and the head of the army on national television last week, dissatisfied soldiers took to the streets. They demanded the remainder of bonuses promised to them in January but not yet fully paid.

The soldiers are former rebels who helped put Ouattara in power after his predecessor refused to leave office after losing the 2010 election. The roughly 8,400 soldiers were integrated into the more than 20,000-strong Ivory Coast army.

Updated : 2022-05-21 20:43 GMT+08:00