Ivorian President dismisses security chiefs following two-day mutiny

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Heads of the army, police and paramilitary in Cote d’Ivoire have been dismissed by the country’s president following a two-day army mutiny.

The mutiny, in the city of Bouake on Friday, put the country in paralysis. It was a result of disgruntled soldiers over pay with troops in other cities joining the uprising. It began with soldiers firing rocket-launchers.

Defence Minister Alain-Richard Donwahi was also briefly seized by mutineers after he went to Bouake to negotiate.

It ended after the country’s President Alassane Ouattara agreed to demands.

A statement from the president’s office on Monday said army chief Gen Soumaila Bakayoko, gendarmerie commander Gervais Kouassi, and director-general of the police Bredou M’Bia had been relieved of command with immediate effect. It did not mention the reason for their removal.

Protests also took place in the cities of Man, Daloa, Daoukro, Odienne and Korhogo and on Saturday soldiers took over the army headquarters in Abidjan.

President Ouattara went on national television on Saturday night to announce a deal had been struck.

“I confirm that I have agreed to take into account the demands of the soldiers over bonuses and better working conditions,” he said.

Together with a deal for better pay, the agreement was reported to include an amnesty for the mutineers.

The mutiny raised fears of a resurgence of the violence seen during Cote d’Ivoire’s 10-year civil war, which ended in 2011.

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