Deal agreed to end military mutiny in Ivory Coast

Story highlights

  • Deal agreed between government and rebel soldiers
  • Soldiers had seized areas of major cities, causing severe disruption
  • Soldiers demand bonus payments linked to civil war support for President Ouattara

(CNN)The fourth day of a violent mutiny that has paralyzed Ivory Coast's largest cities ended in confusion with the announcement of a deal between the government and rebel soldiers, that was subsequently denied by rebel sources.

Defense Minister Alain-Richard Donwahi claimed a deal had been struck that would bring an immediate end to a crisis that had caused "substantial material damage, injuries and loss of human lives."
    "An agreement was reached on how to exit the crisis," said Donwahi. "Consequently, we call on all the assembled soldiers to please free up the corridors, return to the barracks and ensure the tranquillity of the population."
      However, rebel spokesman Sergeant Seydou Kone told Reuters that no deal had been reached, and vowed that the mutiny would continue until the soldiers' demands for bonus payments are met.
      A mutinous soldier holds a RPG rocket launcher inside a military camp in the Ivory Coast's central second city Bouake.

      Shooting reported

      The uprising began on Friday in the city of Bouake, where soldiers took control of central areas and set up roadblocks.
      The rebellion quickly spread to several other cities including the economic capital Abidjan, where gunfire was heard in several locations.
      Saturday saw clashes between protesters and rebel soldiers that resulted in multiple shootings and the death of one protester, according to Reuters.
      Schools, banks and international institutions in Abidjan moved swiftly to close their premises as the crisis escalated, leaving usually busy streets deserted.
      Mutinous soldiers block the street in front of the general staff in Abidjan, on May 15, 2017.