The United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire is slated to close down by the end of June this year, and the UN Security Council has welcomed the “remarkable progress towards lasting peace, stability and economic prosperity” in the country. Speaking to diplomats and senior UN officials last month, Marcel Amon-Tanoh, the foreign minister of Cote d’Ivoire, highlighted the successful implementation of national reconciliation; disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR); and security sector reform (SSR) programming within that progress.
Cote d’Ivoire has indeed made remarkable progress in recovering from the decade of crises that began with the “Christmas Eve coup” of December 1999. Nonetheless, discontent lingers, occasionally sparking protests by groups who feel aggrieved at their place in post-conflict Ivoirian society. Perhaps the most visible sign of this is the spate of military “mutinies” that have erupted this year.
These mutinies started in January, when soldiers blockaded streets, government buildings, and border crossings, protesting allegedly unpaid dues and poor working conditions; they withdrew only after the government agreed to pay an undisclosed amount of bonuses. This was followed by a mutiny of Special Forces soldiers in Adiake in February, and soldiers again blocking the streets of Abidjan last week, prompting Ivoirians to take to Twitter with the exasperated hashtag #MarreDesMutins (“Enough of the mutinies!”). Read more