In Bouake, the mutineers abandoned the southern entrance corridor to the policemen they had hunted on Friday. “They pass us the relay with a good heart,” assures the policeman Eugene Koffi, handling the portcullis. “We’re going to keep the corridor the way it used to be.”
‘The population suffers’
In Abidjan, the Plateau business district was still far from having recovered its usual activity. Many employees and workers had stayed at home as advised by their employers before the announcement of an agreement. The banks, however, decided to reopen at midday.
In Bouake, life also resumed, most shops were open and the main roads were crowded, contrasting with the desert of the previous days.
“It is a joy for the people,” says Billy Kouassi Kouassi, a farmer who tempered his remarks. “But it becomes a habit (mutinies). We can not stay in that eternally.”
“The mutineers are right, they had to pay for them, there was a mistake, but we had to sit down and pretend that we were giving them 100,000 euros. People who are suffering … “
Cyril Guede, a student, was also reserved. Satisfied with the end of the mutiny, he stressed, however: “They (mutineers) say that it is over and after they come back, they are at ease, they are at peace, they eat, but the population suffers enormously “.
“The disbursement (of the money) will generate other strikes, in the civil service, the rest of the army, the gendarmes …” he said.
This new series of mutinies of soldiers had broken out Friday the day after a televised ceremony where a representative of soldiers had announced to renounce the financial demands, in the presence of President Alassane Ouattara.
Far from pacifying the situation, this ceremony had triggered a new mood in this West African country hard hit by the collapse of cocoa prices, vital to its economy.
The mutineers are essentially about 8,400 former rebels who supported Ouattara during the 2010-2011 electoral crisis and were later integrated into the army.
During the first uprising in January, they had demanded a total of 12 million FCFA and had collected 5, the rest to be paid in May.