January 7. 2017

A mutiny by soldiers in Ivory Coast appears to have spread to the country's commercial capital, Abidjan.

Gunfire was heard inside a base for elite troops there. The mutiny began on Friday in the second-largest city, Bouake, before spreading elsewhere.

The defence minister has gone to Bouake to discuss the protesters' demands, which are reportedly over pay.

An MP in the city said the soldiers wanted $8,000 and a house each. There is no information about any casualties.

The BBC's Alex Duval Smith in Ivory Coast says the mutiny brings back memories of Ivory Coast's 10-year civil war, which ended in 2011.

On Saturday firing was heard at the military base in Akouedo, on the eastern edge of Abidjan, which is home to parachute commandos that are considered loyal to President Alassane Ouattara.

Some of the mutineers are thought to be former rebels who joined the army after the conflict. The rebels were based in Bouake.

Defence Minister Alain-Richard Donwahi has promised to "find solutions to this situation, which is understandable but regrettable".

But soldiers involved in the mutiny in Bouake refused to meet him, demanding instead to speak to President Ouattara, who is in Ghana for the inauguration of the new president.

Similar protests have been reported in the cities of Man, Daloa, Daoukro, Odienne and Korhogo.

The rebels swept into Abidjan from Bouake in 2011, helping Mr Ouattara take power after his predecessor Laurent Gbagbo - now on trial at the International Criminal Court - refused to accept defeat in elections the previous year.

Source : BBC NEWS



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