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Government deal ends mutiny on the Ivory Coast

[JURIST] After a five-day mutiny soldiers in the Ivory Coast on Tuesday agreed to a government settlement [press release] to end the disruption. The mutiny began [Reuters report] Friday when soldiers began firing bullets at the army headquarters in the central business district of Abidjan, the economic capital, and in several army barracks located nearby. The military then seized control of Bouaké, the second largest city, and proceeded to launch uprisings in at least six other towns and cities across the country. The mutiny comes as a result of some 8,400 former rebels, now embedded into the army, demanding money due from four years fought without pay in support of President Allassane Ouattara [BBC profile]. The government has agreed to give the soldiers an immediate bonus payment and an additional payment the end of June. The mutiny raises concerns of a resurgence of violence similar to that seen during the 10-year civil war [BBC backgrounder] on the Ivory Coast, which ended in 2011.

The Ivory Coast has faced turmoil since 2010 when former president Laurent Gbagbo [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] lost his second presidential race to former prime minister Alassane Ouattara [BBC profile]. The EU recognized that Ouattara defeated Gbagbo, but Gbagbo refused to concede victory [JURIST report]. Gbagbo has been accused [JURIST report] of starting a civil war after losing the presidency, which resulted in 3,000 deaths and the displacement of one million people. Voters in the Ivory Coast successfully approved [JURIST report] a new constitution last year. In November, Oattara signed [JURIST report] the constitution into law.

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