Security forces member stands guard at the airport as Ivory Coast's Minister of Defense Alain-Richard Donwahi arrives to speak with mutinous soldiers in Bouake, Ivory Coast January 13, 2017. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

Ivorian govt reaches deal with rebelling soldier

Mutineering soldiers in Ivory Coast have reached a deal with the government of Alassane Ouattara to end the dispute over unpaid bonuses.

Soldiers, most of them former rebels, took to the streets in Bouake, the second largest city, and other locations on Friday and seizing the defense ministry forcing the government to accept their demands.

Soldiers said they did not receive 12 million CFA francs ($19,278) in bonuses they said the government had promised to pay each of them under an initial deal to end the uprising struck last Saturday.

“We’ve reached an agreement. They will pay five million Monday and the rest each month,” Sergeant Mamadou Kone, one of the mutineers’ negotiators, told Reuters. “We haven’t finished up, but that’s the most important thing.”

The Ivorian government has been blamed for not bringing the needed reforms to the military with many troops still loyal to former President Laurent Gbagbo.

Heavy gunfire briefly broke out earlier in Bouake outside the venue for the talks, with mutineers blaming the shooting on soldiers venting their frustration after they accused the government of reneging on its promises.

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