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As international event opens, security forces in Ivory Coast repel raid

ABIDJAN (Globe Afrique) – As thousands of people arrived in the country for an international sports and cultural event, security forces in the Ivory Coast fought off an overnight attack on their base, north of the main city of Abidjan, according to a security spokesman on Saturday .

The failed attack in the town of Azaguie came days after gunmen struck the base of an elite security unit in Abidjan, some 40 km (25 miles) to the south, stealing weapons and killing one person.

“The brigade was attacked during the night and this morning in Azaguie,” a gendarmerie spokesman said. “There were no victims, only an exchange of gunfire and after the assailants left again.”

 Ivorian President Ouattara

The incursion followed months of unrests by members of the security forces demanding bonus payments, prompting President Alassane Ouattara to reshuffle top security posts in his government earlier this week.

Meanwhile, President Alassane Ouattara also replaced ministers in charge of defense, budget and the interior on Wednesday in a reshuffle of key cabinet positions, a government official announced in a statement.

Under the new drastic changes, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly will take over the budget portfolio, Patrick Achi, the secretary-general of the presidency, told media groups.
Ouattara, who was sworn in following a 2011 civil war, is eager to put a stop to the mutinies that have tarnished Ivory Coast’s image as a post-conflict success story.

In the capital Abidjan, the gunmen, some wearing military uniforms, succeeded in seizing rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and communications equipment as well as crates of ammunition.

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Ben Mabande

Ben Mabande is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.
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