Tags: AF | Ivory Coast | Mutinies

Ivory Coast: Unrest Spreads as Officials Seek End to Mutiny

Ivory Coast: Unrest Spreads as Officials Seek End to Mutiny

Saturday, 07 January 2017 10:15 AM

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Heavy gunfire erupted Saturday at a military camp in Abidjan, Ivory Coast's largest city, witnesses said, 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, witnesses said.

The U.S. 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 Friday morning. The government said soldiers are demanding salary increases and a quicker promotion schedule.

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

The gunfire Saturday at the Akouedo camp, located in Abidjan's residential Cocody district, began at around 8 a.m. and lasted for about two hours, according to Louise Kouame, who lives nearby.

"It's calm for the moment, but we are more and more afraid," Kouame said.

Security forces blocked off roads heading toward the camp.

In Man, civilians stayed indoors as mutinous soldiers cruised through the streets, resident Herve Singo said.

A similar scene played out in Bouake, where gunfire began at 3 a.m. and continued for several hours, taxi driver Moussa Fofana said.

Appearing on state television Friday night, Defense Minister Alain-Richard Donwahi said officials were determined to end what he called a "deplorable" situation.

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Heavy gunfire erupted Saturday at a military camp in Abidjan, Ivory Coast's largest city, witnesses said, 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...
AF,Ivory Coast,Mutinies
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2017-15-07
Saturday, 07 January 2017 10:15 AM
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