IVORY COAST: Nearly 1,000 Ivorian Soldiers Leaves Army

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Seven months after the last mutinies, the Ivorian government is undertaking the reform of the Ivorian army, which has been waiting for years.

Having become urgent since the mutinies of former rebels in January and May , the first major act of the Ivorian army reform was announced on Wednesday, December 6: 991 soldiers voluntarily agreed to retire on December 31, revealed Bruno Koné, the spokesperson of the Ivorian government, at the end of the council of ministers.

Departures that are neither a witch hunt nor a settlement of accounts, linked to the latest upheavals in the army, insist the authorities. “A ceremony will be organized in their honor,” Bruno Koné explained. Of per diem – the amount of which was not disclosed – will also be awarded to runners. This is only a first wave. By 2020, 4400 soldiers will have to voluntarily assert their right to retirement, at the rate of 1100 soldiers per year.

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An army become plethoric

The purpose of this plan is to reduce staff costs and, above all, to guarantee the pyramid of grades.

The Ivorian government is beginning a degreasing of the Ivorian army, an indispensable measure according to several experts. Military personnel have become overcrowded after the crisis. The Republican Forces of Côte d’Ivoire (FRCI) are indeed composed of the merger between the former Fanci (National Armed Forces of Côte d’Ivoire), loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, and the FAFN (Armed forces of the new forces), from the rebellion that supported Alassane Ouattara. So many men who are not always well trained and operational. More than 90% of the army budget is thus intended to pay wages.

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An important military programming law for the years 2016 to 2020 has been adopted by the Ivorian government. The numbers of the mute should be reduced to 40,000 men against 41,620 currently, consisting of 22,920 military and 18,700 gendarmes.

“This plan aims to reduce staff costs and will rejuvenate the troops and, especially, to guarantee the pyramid of ranks. Recruitment will not be stopped so far, “says a source close to the record. Over the 2016-2020 period, more than 2254 billion CFA francs will be spent, about 800 billion a year to finance the military programming law.

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