Disgruntled soldiers in Ivory Coast who staged a revolt over pay dispute with the government have accepted a proposal on bonuses and returned to barracks on Tuesday.
The dissident soldiers, mostly former rebels who helped bring President Alassane Ouattara to power, rejected an earlier offer late on Monday. But a spokesman for the mutineers said the deal was amended overnight.
“We accept the government’s proposal … We are returning to barracks now,” said Sergeant Seydou Kone, speaking in the city of Bouake where the revolt began last Friday before quickly spreading. Some of the 8,400 mutineers had already received the bonuses agreed under the new deal by midday, he said.
The development now ends a mutiny that had closed businesses, shut major roads and threatened years of economic progress in the world’s top cocoa producer.
The unrest broke out hours after national television broadcast a ceremony in which a spokesman for 8,400 mutinous soldiers apologised to Ouattara for a rebellion in January, and dropped demands for extra pay.
Reports say the government paid the 8,400 troops behind January’s rebellion bonuses of 5 million CFA francs ($8,370) each as part of an agreement to end that mutiny.
The soldiers were due a staggered payment of an additional 7 million CFA francs.
But they said the government asked for a delay in payment to ease financial pressure on the Treasury, citing a collapse in cocoa revenues, a development which has not gone down well with the soldiers and has now caused a mutiny.
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