Two Ivory Coast cities are in the midst of a mutiny by disgruntled former rebels who have been integrated into the security forces and were promised pay bonuses they never received.
Gunfire was heard Monday in Bouake, the country’s second largest city, and at several military camps in Abidjan, the country’s economic capital. It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties.
Ivory Coast has launched a military operation to take back the central city of Bouake where at least one civilian was killed Sunday and reports say more than 20 others were hurt when they ignored warnings from the rebels to stay in their homes. The mutinous soldiers took over Bouake Friday.
One rebellious sergeant told Reuters the soldiers in Bouake are refusing to give up their weapons and are “waiting” for the government forces.
Most are former rebels who integrated into the regular army after a short-lived uprising in January.
The rebels were promised bonuses if they gave up, but the government is having trouble meeting those payments.
Many of the rebellious solders were part of a 2002 coup attempt that split the country into a rebel-held Muslim north and a government-held Christian south for several years.