Ivory Coast: shots fired at camp in Bouake

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Bouaké (Ivory Coast) – Gunfire was heard in the night from Thursday to Friday in a military camp in Bouaké (north), the epicenter of Ivorian soldiers’ mutinies in 2017, military sources and local residents said. AFP, invoking a different between soldiers.

“It involved elements of the CCDO (operations command center of operations) and elements that we could not identify,” said a military source on condition of anonymity, without further details.

“It seems to be a brief quarrel between the police and the CCDO, and it’s recurrently coming back to us that something in the CCDO has been fired, but from whom we do not know,” said a source close to the state. Major of the armies.

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“We, the military, are not planning any uprising, there is no reason to do it, people are quietly going about their business, there is absolutely nothing serious, we are asking our guardianship to put all uniformed body on equal footing to avoid frustration, “said a soldier from the 3rd Military Battalion.

According to several residents, “gunshots were actually heard in the city center”. But Friday morning, calm reigned in the city.

Thursday, General Sekou Toure, chief of staff of the Ivorian armies, presented “his apologies to the Nation” for the mutinies that shook the country in 2017 and promised that in 2018 the army will fulfill “his duty” ,

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Former rebels integrated into the army mutinied in January and May 2017, finally getting the payment of 12 million CFA francs (18,000 euros) for each of the 8,400 of them. This crisis tarnished the image of stability found in the country after the 2010-2011 political-military crisis and weakened President Alassane Ouattara and the government team.

In his televised New Year speech, President Ouattara affirmed his desire to transform the army into a “truly republican” force.

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At the end of December, a thousand soldiers left the army as part of a reform.

From military sources, the Ivorian army counted before this departure, 23,000 men of rank (including 13,000 from the rebellion that held the north of the country from 2002 to 2011), and 15,000 non-commissioned officers.

The authorities had massively promoted non-commissioned members, including former rebels. Experts estimate that an army must have 20/30% non-commissioned officers and 65/70% non-commissioned members.

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