Ouattara’s Elite Loyalist Troops kKll Mutineer Soldiers in the Ivory Coast

Abidjan, The Ivory Coast- Elite loyalist troops from Ivory Coast on Tuesday killed a mutinous soldier in the administrative the country’s capital Yamoussoukro, a military source said.

“The mutinous soldiers were killed by the Republican Guard in front of their camp” in the city, the source said on condition of anonymity.

The soldier had been taking part in a protest that erupted earlier Tuesday, which saw troops taking to the streets of Yamoussoukro and second city Bouake, firing shots in the air and terrifying residents.

President Alassane Ouattara came to power through a volatile electoral process between his party and that of then incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo currently jailed in The Hague for crimes against humanity.

During the electoral dispute, members of the Ivorian army supported President Gbagbo while Ouattara was said to have been supported by rebel forces and disgruntled mercenaries from Burkina Faso, the alleged ancestral home of his parents.

Mutineers in the Ivory Coast

The mutiny that began Jan. 6 was led by former rebels who had backed President Alassane Ouattara in a 2011 postelection conflict that claimed more than 3,000 lives. Among the mutineers’ demands were bonuses of nearly $20,000 for more than 8,000 fighters.

Last week, the mutineers said the government had agreed to pay them, and at least some soldiers in Bouake began receiving bank transfers Monday and Tuesday. The government has said only that a deal was reached, declining to confirm specifics.

The violence in Yamoussoukro began Monday night when soldiers raided an armory at a training academy, per an expert on the Ivorian army, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to describe his conversations with the soldiers.

Regional security watchers say the country could be on its way to a renewed war if the potential for conflict is not addressed.

Meanwhile, Augustin Thiam, the governor of Yamoussoukro, continues to meet with soldiers for in the region but is not saying whether any conclusions are being reached.

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Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.

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