Saturday 21 October 2017
(AFP (eng) 05/16/17)
Rebel troops in Ivory Coast on Tuesday said they were ending a four-day mutiny after coming to an agreement with the government over a pay dispute. "We have found a basis for agreement. We are returning to barracks," Sergeant Cisse Fousseni told AFP as others said all their demands had been met. The government offered an immediate payment of five million CFA francs (7,500 euros) and an extra two million to be paid next month, source among the mutineers said. Defence Minister Alain-Richard Donwahi announced late Monday that an agreement had been struck with the mutineers
(AFP (eng) 05/16/17)
Heavy gunfire rang out Monday in Ivory Coast's two biggest cities as a four-day mutiny by disgruntled soldiers spread nationwide but the government claimed a deal to end the crisis had been reached. Banks, offices and department stores closed in the heart of the economic capital, Abidjan, as shots were fired in San Pedro, the second biggest port in the world's top cocoa-producing nation. Border posts closed, halting road traffic to Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, while Ivory Coast's second biggest city, Bouake, was under the control of mutinous soldiers. The mutiny is the latest in a series of armed protests since January in the West African country, with troops angered by a wage dispute with President Alassane Ouattara's government...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/16/17)
Renegade soldiers in Ivory Coast on Monday rejected a proposed deal to end their mutiny over unpaid bonuses just minutes after the defense minister announced on state-owned television that an agreement had been reached. President Alassane Ouattara's government has been trying to restore order for four days after 8,400 mutineers took control of the second-biggest city, Bouake, and spread their revolt to cities and towns across the country. Heavy gunfire on Monday paralyzed much of Abidjan, the commercial capital, and the western port city of San Pedro, echoing another mutiny earlier in the year and further threatening Ivory Coast's emergence from a 2011 civil war as one of the world's fastest growing economies. Ivory Coast is the world's largest producer...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
Cocoa rose, extending last week’s surge in prices, following a failure of talks between army commanders and mutinous soldiers over the weekend in Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest producer. The beans jumped as much as 4.4 percent in London and also gained in New York trading after Ivory Coast’s military was said to have given soldiers an ultimatum on Sunday to drop their pay demands and end a revolt. Special forces will take action against the soldiers should the talks fail, a person familiar with the matter said. There were reports of shooting early Monday at the main army barracks in Abidjan, the commercial capital, and the country’s second-biggest city of Bouake. "There has been a slight pick-up in the...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
Ivory Coast’s government announced it reached an agreement with soldiers to end a four-day mutiny over pay that disrupted cities across the nation, even though some troops said they were unaware of a deal and would continue with their revolt. Military staff and rebel soldiers made a pact after two days of talks, Defense Minister Alain Donwahi said Monday in a broadcast on state television, RTI, without elaborating on details of the agreement. “We call on all soldiers to free the corridors, to return to the barracks and to ensure the safety of the population,” Donwahi said. “We invite people to remain calm. We assure them that everything is being done for a quick return to a peaceful situation.” The...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
When the impoverished West African nation of Niger imposed a ban on donkey exports last year, a small community of traders just over the border in Nigeria was devastated. “Before the ban, you could see thousands of donkeys here,” said Mohammed Sani, a 45-year-old trader in the Nigerian town of Jibiya, as he wiped the sweat off his brow. “Now look at them: there’s no more than 50, crippling the business.” Donkeys are being slaughtered at an alarming pace to feed a global trade in donkey hides that’s fueled by soaring demand in China, where the skins are used to manufacture a gelatin believed to have anti-ageing and libido-enhancing properties. The gelatin, known in China as e’jiao, is so popular...
(AFP (eng) 05/15/17)
Heavy gunfire rang out Monday in Abidjan and Bouake, Ivory Coast's two biggest cities, witnesses said, as a mutiny by disgruntled soldiers demanding bonuses entered its fourth day. It was the latest in a series of armed protests which have gripped the country since January, with troops angered by an unresolved dispute over wages and demanding the government of President Alassane Ouattara pay up. "This is not a coup. We want our bonuses. The president signed a paper saying he agreed with our bonuses. When he pays up, we'll go home," said a spokesman for troops...
(AFP (eng) 05/15/17)
Gunfire was heard early Monday in the Ivory Coast cities of Abidjan and Bouake, in the grip of a mutiny by ex-rebel soldiers, AFP journalists and witnesses said. In the economic capital of Abidjan, shots were fired at two military camps in Akouedo in the east of the city, which together form the country's largest military barracks, a nearby resident said. Sustained gunfire was also heard in the second-largest city of Bouake, where one person died on Sunday from bullet wounds sustained in clashes between the former rebels, some of whom have now been integrated into the army, and those who have disarmed but are not integrated. The mutineers often fire in the air to express their anger over the...
(Bloomberg 05/15/17)
Gunfire erupted at a key military camp in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Abidjan, and its second-biggest city of Bouake as a rebellion over unpaid bonuses entered a fourth day. The West African nation, which wants to issue a Eurobond next month, saw yields on its existing securities jump. Several explosions and sporadic shooting rocked Bouake, a transit hub that links Ivory Coast to its landlocked northern neighbors, from about 2:00 a.m., resident Siriki Koné said by phone Monday. In Abidjan, gunfire began at about 5:40 a.m. near the military barracks in Akouedo, according to Joseph Kouadio, who lives in the area. “We’re still hearing shooting,” Kouadio said by phone. “My son’s school just sent me an SMS to say: school...
(AFP (eng) 05/14/17)
One person died Sunday after mutinous soldiers took to the streets in Ivory Coast's central second city Bouake as fresh tensions gripped the world's top cocoa grower. The victim was among five men and a mother-of-three who were hospitalised after being struck by warning shots fired to keep residents inside their homes, an AFP photographer saw. About 15 others were treated for minor injuries. "(He), Issouf Diawara, finally died from his bullet wounds," his brother Souleymane Diawara told AFP. "I am a distraught man." Diawara was hit on Saturday amid clashes between former rebels, some of whom have now been integrated into the army, and those who have disarmed but not integrated. The two groups are clashing over government payments...
(AFP (eng) 05/13/17)
Defiant soldiers blocked access to Ivory Coast's second-largest city on Saturday after firing guns into the air throughout the night, according to an AFP journalist at the scene. Rebellious soldiers had already taken to the streets Friday in Bouake, the economic capital of Abidjan and another city demanding pay increases. The city of Bouake was the epicentre of a mutiny in January by former rebel soldiers who had been integrated into the army, which triggered months of unrest. "We want our money," a soldier wearing a facemask said Saturday, refusing to give his name. The soldiers forced the police who normally control the four main access points to Bouake to flee, before taking up positions and blocking all traffic into...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Disgruntled soldiers blocked access to Ivory Coast's second largest city Bouake and gunfire rang out in other towns on Saturday as protests over a pay dispute extended into a second day despite government warnings of harsh punishments. The revolt began in Bouake early on Friday before spreading quickly, following a pattern similar to a mutiny in January by the same group that paralyzed parts of the West African state and marred its image as a post-war success story. In the commercial capital Abidjan on Friday, mutineers seized control of the national military headquarters and defense ministry on Friday. They went a step further in Bouake on Saturday, blocking roads north and south out of the city. "We do not want...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Tackling climate change in Africa could help resolve multiple problems ravaging the continent, from drought to refugees and violence, the head of the African Union said on Friday. The mix of global warming with economic woes and political conflicts keeps peace from taking hold, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Union's new chairman, at Chatham House, an international think tank. "There is a link between climate change and prosperity, as well as peace, on the continent," Mahamat said in French with an interpreter. "Africa is among the least polluting continents, and yet it is the continent that suffers most," he said. Mahamat, the former foreign minister of Chad, was chosen to chair the 55-member, Addis Ababa-based organization in January. In Africa's...
(AFP (eng) 05/12/17)
Disgruntled Ivorian soldiers took to the streets of Abidjan and two other cities on Friday, firing angrily into the air a day after publicly apologising for a string of recent uprisings. Rebellious troops surrounded the military's headquarters in Abidjan after a spokesman for the protesters publicly apologised to the president for a January mutiny which triggered months of unrest. At the heart of the matter is an unresolved dispute over pay, with the soldiers demanding hefty pay rises in a protest which has found echoes across the country. Troops took up position in front of the sprawling Gallieni military camp in the Plateau
(AFP (eng) 05/12/17)
Rebel soldiers surrounded the army headquarters in Ivory Coast's economic capital Abidjan on Friday and fired shots into the air, an AFP journalist said. Sporadic gunfire had rung out overnight in the country's second city of Bouake, just hours after national television broadcast a ceremony in which a soldier presented as a spokesman for 8,400 former rebels said they wished to apologise to President Alassane Ouattara for a mutiny in January.
(AFP (eng) 05/12/17)
Sporadic gunfire rang out overnight in a military barracks in Ivory Coast's second city of Bouake, where a mutiny erupted in January, an AFP journalist said Friday. The shots were heard just hours after national television broadcast a ceremony in which a soldier presented as a spokesman for 8,400 former rebels, many of them based in Bouake, said they wished to apologise to President Alassane Ouattara for the mutiny. In January, former rebels integrated into army ranks staged a mutiny that paralysed activity in several towns of the west African country while they pressed their demands for bonuses. In meeting the demands of the ex-rebels, who controlled the northern half of Africa's biggest cocoa producer between 2002 and 2011, the...
(AFP (eng) 05/12/17)
Some 8,400 Ivory Coast soldiers who mutinied in January apologised to President Alassane Ouattara in an orchestrated ceremony that was aired on national television late Thursday. Organised without the knowledge of the press, the event -- broadcast after it took place at the presidential palace -- signalled a dramatic end to the protest movement. As well as apologising the rebels said they were giving up all their financial demands. Ouattara said of the rebels that he "believed their words were sincere" and they would now be "exemplary soldiers". A spokesman for the rebels, named as Sergeant Fofana said: "We apologise for the various situations we know we have caused. We definitively renounce all our financial demands." He then, in a...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/12/17)
Thousands of soldiers who mutinied earlier this year in Ivory Coast, paralysing the country and dealing a blow to its post-war success story, have agreed to drop their demands for further bonus payments, a spokesman for the group said on Thursday. The pledge, if honored, would greatly ease pressure on government finances already squeezed by a steep decline in world cocoa prices and earlier payments to the mutineers. But some of the soldiers criticized the agreement and said they were not informed of it in advance. The representative for the group, whose name was given only as Sergeant Fofana, apologized on behalf of the soldiers during a meeting with President Alassane Ouattara in the commercial capital Abidjan. He thanked the...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the Indian Ocean, beginning with the kidnapping of a Sri Lankan crew from the Aris 13 oil tanker on March 13th (they were later released without a ransom). Nobody thinks the problem will end until a stable government is restored in...
(AFP (eng) 05/08/17)
Several hundred ex-rebels on Monday blocked access to Ivory Coast's second city Bouake, their former stronghold, seeking thousands of euros in bonuses in line with a deal following a deadly January mutiny. Security forces were deployed to monitor the upheaval, which caused a tailback of about 100 vehicles outside the main southern entrance to the city, but the former rebels started letting cars in in the afternoon as they began negotiations with local authorities. Most shops in the city, a commercial and transport hub in the centre of the west African country, however remained closed. Unlike the mutineers who caused trouble in several towns, Monday's protesters have not been integrated into the army and carried no weapons. They are known...

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