Ivory Coast Mutiny: Government Announces Deal With Soldiers.

The Ivory Coast government says it has reached a deal with soldiers involved in a four-day revolt over pay.
Defence Minister Alain-Richard Donwahi appeared on state TV to announce a settlement had been reached.

But only minutes later two spokesmen for the rebels told Reuters there was no agreement.
Mr Donwahi gave few details of the accord.

The dispute, over what the mutineers say are unpaid bonuses, began on Friday and spread through major cities.

Defying a government order to lay down their weapons, the soldiers opened fire in four cities on Monday.

Shots rang out near the presidential palace in the main city, Abidjan, the second city, Bouaké, and in areas vital to the cocoa industry.

The mutineers helped the president take office in 2011. The former rebels make up about 8,400 of Ivory Coast’s 22,000-strong army.

Announcing the putative deal, Mr Donwahi said: “After talks, an agreement has been reached on ways of ending the crisis.

“As a result, we appeal to all soldiers to free up the corridors (town entrances), return to barracks and respect peace”.

Rejecting the latest government announcement, two spokesmen for the rebel soldiers told Reuters they wanted more money.
One, Sgt Seydou Kone said: ”
They proposed five million CFA francs (each) to be paid tomorrow.

But we want seven million to be paid in one payment and immediately.”

It is unclear how many of the soldiers the men are representing.

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