Three killed in Ivo­rian clash over mil­i­tary bonus

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

A GROUP of muti­nous sol­diers in the Ivory Coast clashed with se­cu­rity forces in the north­ern city of Korhogo, a day af­ter talks with mil­i­tary com­man­ders over bonuses dead­locked.

The con­flict on Satur­day was pre­ceded by shots fired into the air by mem­bers of the army group, 2600, in bar­racks at the cap­i­tal Abid­jan, and Korhogo, to protest mil­i­tary lead­ers, say­ing they won’t be paid bonuses due to un­avail­abil­ity of funds.

The sit­u­a­tion is “un­der con­trol and calm”, Min­is­ter of De­fence Alain Don­wahi said. Three sol­diers died and two mem­bers of se­cu­rity forces were wounded, ac­cord­ing to an Abid­jan-based news web­site.

Ivory Coast sol­diers have mu­tinied sev­eral times this year as they de­mand to be paid for sup­port­ing Pres­i­dent Alas­sane Ou­at­tara in a decade-long con­flict that brought him to power in 2011. The rebel sol­diers, who be­came part of the na­tional army the same year, want to be paid bonuses just like other mem­bers of the mil­i­tary.

“We are claim­ing bonuses (like) our col­leagues who got 12 mil­lion CFA francs,” Cor­po­ral Moussa Bamba, a mem­ber of 2600, said. “Yes­ter­day, our talks with army com­man­ders failed. They told us gov­ern­ment has no more funds. We were an­gry.”

Gun­men dressed in army uni­forms at­tacked a po­lice sta­tion at Abobo, in the north­ern sub­urb of Abid­jan ear­lier on Satur­day.

It is un­clear whether the at­tacks were linked with the mu­ti­neers. Bloomberg

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