On Sunday, July 9, a number of former rebels that remain unintegrated into the Ivorian army blockaded the main road leading in to the city of Bouaké. The roadblock was removed shortly after when police forces used tear gas to disperse the group. The ex-rebels were demanding the payment of XOF 18 million (USD 30,120) per person for unpaid salaries and bonuses from 2007 to 2012.
Demobilized rebels across Bouaké previously carried out deadly demonstrations to demand direct cash payments of unpaid bonuses on May 23. Furthermore, some soldiers also staged a (second) mutiny from May 12 to May 16. Tensions between the demobilized rebels and the mutineers ran high in May 2017 as both groups demanded unpaid bonuses from the government.
The most recent soldier mutiny over unpaid bonuses began on May 12, with disgruntled soldiers firing shots into the air in Bouaké and taking control of the national military headquarters and the Defense Ministry in Abidjan. At least 20 people were reportedly injured and one killed in associated violence during the five-day long mutiny. On May 16, an agreement between the mutineers and the government was reached, putting an end to the violence.
Soldiers launched an earlier mutiny on January 6 over low wages and unpaid bonuses supposedly owed to the soldiers after the 2010-2011 post-electoral crisis. Calm was temporarily restored after an agreement between mutineers and the government was reached on January 7.
The Ivory Coast experienced a drawn-out political crisis from 2002 to 2011. Since 2011, around 6800 former fighters throughout the country have been demobilized. Bouaké is the country's second-largest city and a former stronghold of the disbanded rebel group New Forces, who operated there during the civil war.
Individuals present in the country are advised to keep abreast of the situation, to remain vigilant, and to adhere to instructions issued by local authorities or their home governments.
On a separate note, due to tensions between ethnic groups and occasional outbreaks of deadly violence, some Western governments advise against nonessential travel to the southwestern border areas with Liberia (Bas-Sassandra, Haut-Sassandra, Dix-Huit Montagnes regions).
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