Friday, January 6, 2017

Soldiers Mutiny in 3 Ivory Coast Cities

Soldiers in Ivory Coast launched mutinies in three areas on Friday and seized control of the country’s second-largest city.

Witnesses say gunfire erupted around 1:00 a.m. local time in Bouake, a city of 500,000 in the center of the West African country. VOA’s French to Africa service reports that soldiers looted weapons from local police stations and took control of the northern and southern entrances to the city.

Journalist Narita Namaste in Abidjan tells VOA that similar mutinies broke out in the towns of Korhogo and Daloa.

The soldiers made no immediate demands but are believed to be seeking higher pay.

The soldiers are former rebels who were integrated into Ivory Coast’s army after the country’s civil war. Bouake was the former capital of the rebellion, which split the country into northern and southern halves between 2002 and 2011.

The country has been stable over the past five years, and conducted peaceful parliamentary elections in December in which the coalition of President Alassane Ouattara retained control of the National Assembly.

Narita Namaste, a reporter for VOA’s French to Africa service, contributed to this story from Abidjan.

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