Just minutes after Cote’Ivoire’s Defence Minister, Alain-Richard Donwahi announced on state-owned television that an agreement has been reached to end the on-going unrest in the country, renegade soldiers have rejected the proposed deal to end their mutiny over unpaid bonuses.
The Ivorian government under President Alassane Ouattara has, for the past four days, been trying to restore order after 8,400 mutineers took control of the country’s second-largest city, Bouake and paralysed activities in the commercial capital, Abidjan.
“To end the stalemate and avoid any more bereavement of families, the Army Chief of Staff held talks with the soldiers on Sunday and Monday.The talks have resulted in an arrangement to end the crisis,” Donwahi had said in the nation-wide television broadcast.
In a swift reaction however, a spokesman for the mutineers, Sergeant Seydou Kone, refuted the broadcast and confirmed that the proposal had been outrightly rejected by the aggrieved soldiers.
“They proposed 5 million CFA francs to be paid tomorrow (to each soldier). But we want 7 million to be paid in one installment and immediately,” Kone told journalists.
It would be recalled that the government had in January, paid the mutineers, most of whom helped President Ouattara in his re-election bid, 5 million CFA francs each to end an uprising. It has however been struggling to keep a promise of paying another 7 million CFA francs to each soldier after the price of cocoa, the country’s largest export commodity crashed, leading to a revenue crunch.