Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Soldiers launch mutinies in three cities over pay

Published:Sunday | January 8, 2017 | 12:03 AM
In this file photo taken Friday, October 23, 2015, Ivory Coast troops provide security during an election rally of Ivory Coast incumbent President Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP):

Heavy gunfire erupted yesterday at a military camp in Abidjan, Ivory Coast's largest city, a sign that a mutiny could be escalating despite government efforts to bring it to a swift end.

Shooting also took place for a second day in Bouake, Ivory Coast's second-largest city, as well as in the western city of Man.

The United States Embassy advised staffers to keep off roads and to stay near their homes, while France advised restricting travel to the country's interior and avoiding military camps in Abidjan.

The mutiny started in Bouake last Friday morning. The government said soldiers are demanding salary increases and a quicker promotion schedule.

Officials were expected to meet with soldiers in Bouake yesterday, and a cabinet meeting was scheduled. President Alassane Ouattara had travelled to Ghana for the inauguration of President Nana Akufo-Addo, but was due to return yesterday evening.

The government used payouts to appease soldiers after similar incidents in 2014.

The unrest points to lingering security worries in Ivory Coast, which boasts Africa's fastest-growing economy and is eager to move past its history of conflict.