Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Heavy Shooting Reported in the City of Abidjan and Bouaké

Heavy Shooting Reported in the City of Abidjan and Bouaké

"I've been hearing the sound of Kalashnikovs and a heavier weapon".

In a statement on Sunday, Gen Touré said that numerous mutinous soldiers had listened to earlier calls for them to stand down.

Bouake was the epicentre of the January mutiny, which triggered months of unrest.

An Abidjan resident said soldiers came out of the largest military camp and erected barricades early on Monday, blocking traffic along one of the city's eastern thoroughfares.

In Bouake, soldiers broke up a gathering of young people, injuring four, said Charles Gnaore, a lawmaker for the town from the ruling Rally of the Republicans party.

The latest standoff was sparked by Ouattara's announcement on Thursday that the government had reached a compromise with troops that organized a mutiny over unpaid bonuses in January.

Major cities across Ivory Coast awoke to the clatter of gunfire Monday.

"The population rose up, but the mutineers quickly dispersed the march with shots", said Bouake resident Simon Guede.

Reporters for VOA's French to Africa Service say the shooting in Abidjan and Bouake had stopped by mid-afternoon, but tension remained high, with shops closed down and the streets almost empty.

Sporadic gunfire was heard overnight in Bouake as well as at military camps in Abidjan and intensified before dawn.

Last year, the government unveiled an ambitious plan to modernise the 22,000 strong military, part of which would involve the departure of several thousand men, particularly former rebels, who will not be replaced.

The mutineers, the majority of whom are former rebel fighters who fought to bring President Alassane Ouattara to power, succeeded in sealing off the city of Bouake, the second largest city in the country, while simultaneously breaking up protests against the revolt with gunfire.

Sustained gunfire also rang out in Bouake, the second-largest city, where one person died on Sunday from bullet wounds. "But we want 7 million to be paid in one payment and immediately", said Sergeant Seydou Kone. But society remains deeply divided and a wave of mutinies earlier this year exposed the lack of unity in a military assembled from former rebel and loyalist combatants.

Data from Tradeweb showed Ivory Coast dollar bonds maturing in 2024 fell 0.8 cent in price to a three-week low XS108941308=TE while the 2028 issue dropped 1.2 cents XS119651743=TE to its lowest level in 10 days due to the unrest.

Like this: