- Title: Streets of Ivory Coast cities calm after soldier mutiny
- Date: 8th January 2017
- Summary: BOUAKE, IVORY COAST (JANUARY 7, 2017) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) PEOPLE RUN IN STREET AND GET OUT OF CARS NEAR LOCAL OFFICIAL'S HOUSE WHERE IVORY COAST DEFENCE MINISTER WAS HOLDING TALKS WITH MUTINYING SOLDIERS / AUDIO OF GUNFIRE ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST (JANUARY 8, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF TRAFFIC AND PEOPLE WALKING IN STREET (SOUNDBITE) (French) STUDENT, SAMUEL LAVRY, SAYING: "They want a better life, and I think that is a legitimate demand for people who defend our country, who are even the guarantors of the situation in our country. I think they are right to make these demands, but the means they used to achieve this are not appropriate. We can't have a situation where the army can go on strike because they represent the face of Ivory Coast, if they go on strike anyone can do what they want in this country. So yes, let them make their demands, but they need to find proper means to do so." (SOUNDBITE) (French) SALESWOMAN, LEONTINE LIZIER, SAYING: "These are people the government has used in order to govern today so they are there and they have to take care of them. They have families they need to house, feed, take care of and everything. They need good living conditions." CARS DRIVING ON ROAD (SOUNDBITE) (French) SALESWOMAN LEONTINE LIZIER, SAYING: "People are fed up and one day it will go sour, that's what we expect if this goes on, we hope not but it's to be expected. It's like a child who has nothing to eat, one morning he is going to grab you and demand what he is owed. You are the father you need to take care of your child." VARIOUS OF CARS DRIVING ON ROUND ABOUT PEOPLE WALKING PAST CARS DRIVING ON STREET (SOUNDBITE) (French) IVORY COAST CITIZEN, ABDOULAYE TANGARA, SAYING: "Today, Ivory Coast is on the road to development and reconciliation. If the soldiers behave like this it could lead to others doing the same. What I want, and I am addressing myself here to the president of the republic and his government, is that they keep their promises and they sort this out peacefully and definitively so it doesn't happen again" CARS DRIVING ON ROAD (SOUNDBITE) (French) SALESWOMAN, LEONTINE LIZIER, SAYING: "We have children and when there is war we can't work, we can't eat; we can't do anything. Me, I don't work in an office, I fight (for a living), I go to the bush to find goods and come to market to sell them, but when you have a situation like this one, we are blocked. This is how we live, so how are we going to do? We can't travel, we can't do anything, no one is safe and that is worrying." VEHICLES DRIVING ON BOULEVARD
- Embargoed: 23rd January 2017 16:41
- Keywords: Ivory Coast cities calm mutiny soliders gunfire Ivorians
- Location: BOUAKE AND ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST
- City: BOUAKE AND ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST
- Country: Ivory Coast
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0015Y7ZD53
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
The streets of Ivory Coast's second-largest city Bouake were calm and the military presence was gone, residents said on Sunday (January 8), after a two-day soldiers' mutiny took over the city before spreading across the country.
The mutiny began early on Friday (January 6) when rogue soldiers demanding bonus pay seized Bouake. Soldiers at military camps in cities and towns across Ivory Coast, including the commercial capital Abidjan, joined the rebellion.
A deal was reached between the government and the soldiers late on Saturday. A mutineer close to the negotiations said soldiers had returned to barracks.
He said the soldiers expect to be paid on Monday under the deal brokered by Defence Minister Alain-Richard Donwahi, raising pressure on a government that faces further unrest if demands are not met.
In a sign of tensions, renegade troops on Saturday opened fire outside the house in Bouake where the negotiations took place, temporarily trapping Donwahi, witnesses said.
The terms of the final deal were not made public, but sources said that the soldiers demanded 5 million CFA francs ($8,000) each, which for more than 8,000 soldiers could cost tens of billions of CFA francs.
Ivory Coast - which has French-speaking West Africa's largest economy - has emerged from a 2002-2011 political crisis as one of the continent's rising economic stars.
But years of conflict and a failure to reform its army, made up of former rebel fighters and government soldiers, have left it hobbled by division.
The revolt comes two years after a near identical uprising which ended when the government offered mutineers amnesty from punishment and a financial settlement.
A repeat of the solution raises the risk soldiers will be encouraged to do it again.
Traffic in Bouake, snarled since Friday by roadblocks and barricades, was clear on Sunday. Residents who talked to Reuters expressed sympathy with the soldiers, with some expressing unhappiness with their living conditions.
The gunfire of recent days had stopped.
Other cities were also calm, residents said, including Abidjan, where a day earlier loyalist troops were deployed at strategic locations and residents rushed to buy bottled water and other provisions.
There was no military on the streets on Sunday. People were seen walking to church, shops were open and traffic moved as normal, a Reuters reporter said.
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