Sunday, May 14, 2017

Ivory Coast: Trouble broils

(Yamoussoukro) The Ivory Coast not a newcomer to violence this past few years is waking up to the possibility that civil war may be just around the corner. It transpires that rebels soldiers who helped the current President Alassane Ouattara assume office and who were then subsumed into the Ivory Coast Army have rebelled, taking control of the second city Bouaké simply because they want a cash bonus of $8,000 (£6,200) each for helping quell a mutiny earlier on in the year. With 8500 soldiers having been paid the equivalent of 8 years wages in a lump sum. The former rebels aren't happy and have demanded an extra cash bonus , which kind of explains why they have stated they are "ready to fight" if attacked. And why they opened fire on a civilian protest today directed at the mutinous soldiers.

The President having backed off from using military force, has now sent in loyal troops in which to face down the former rebels. the Military Chief of Staff General Sekou Toure issued a statement announcing a military offensive.
"These acts of an extreme seriousness are contrary to the mission of protection assigned to the armed forces, as a result, a military operation is under way to re-establish order."
The spokesman for the mutineers, Sergeant Seydou Kone replied:
"They asked us to lay down our arms and surrender. We refused and demand our money. We are waiting for them."
It never rains in Africa does it, it simply pours.