The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 170123

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 30, 2017

The Rendon Group

(23JAN17)

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Crisis in Ivory Coast Continues as More Soldiers Mutiny

Soldiers of Ivory Coast presidential guard patrol as they arrive at the port of Abidjan, Ivory Coast January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

Soldiers of Ivory Coast presidential guard patrol as they arrive at the port of Abidjan, Ivory Coast on 18JAN17. (Reuters/Luc Gnago)

After soldiers began a mutiny on 06JAN, demanding pay raises of 5 million CFA francs ($8 000) each plus a house, officials from the government reached a deal promising of pay raises. The mutinous soldiers received concessions from government officials after taking the Defense Minister hostage and surrounding the negotiations for their raises. The revolt resulted in a shuffle of security officials and coincided with the  nomination of a new Vice-President, Daniel Kablan Duncan. On 17JAN, a separate group of soldiers revolted in Yamoussoukro and Bouake, calling on the government to give them the same bonuses that troops who mutinied on 06JAN. The violence resulted in the deaths of two mutinying soldiers who clashed with loyalist security forces. The violence briefly shut down the main port in the commercial capital Abidjan, threatening cocoa exports. As President Ouattara works to appease the mutinying soldiers, the crisis has shaken the country’s economy and undermined its narrative as a model for post-conflict renewal.

 

News summary of events during the week of 16JAN17 – 23JAN17

  • 16JAN: Former PM Daniel Kablan Duncan was sworn in as the nation’s first vice president, taking up a post created under constitutional changes approved in NOV16. (AFP)
  • 16JAN: Police fired teargas to disperse pupils and students protesting at government ministries in the main city, Abidjan, as nationwide, public sector strikes intensified. (Reuters)
  • 17JAN: Mutinous soldiers took to the streets in the administrative capital Yamoussoukro, firing shots in the air and terrifying residents. (AFP)
  • 17JAN: The government killed two mutineering soldiers demanding bonuses in Yamoussoukro. (AP)
  • 18JAN: Gunfire cut off access to the commercial port of Abidjan as officials pleaded with security forces to end the unrest. (AP)
  • 18JAN: Heavy gunfire erupted after dark in the second port city of San Pedro, as two weeks of military uprisings that have tarnished the West African nation’s image as a post-war success story showed no sign of letting up. (Reuters)
  • 18JAN: President Alassane Ouattara ordered his defense minister and the heads of the army, police and gendarmes to hold talks with members of the security forces to discuss grievances in a bid to end the two weeks of unrest. (Reuters)
  • 18JAN: The main port in the commercial capital Abidjan reopened after it was temporarily shut down by protesting gendarmes officers earlier in the day. (Reuters)
  • 19JAN: Cocoa exporters said ship loading resumed at the ports of Abidjan and San Pedro, after a temporary shutdown a day earlier due to unrest in some factions of the security forces. (Reuters)
  • 19JAN: Bloomberg reported that the mutiny was causing the world’s worst bond losses for the country’s sovereign debt. (Bloomberg)
  • 23JAN: Protests erupted in several Ivory Coast cities, including in the economic capital Abidjan where retired soldiers barricaded a major highway as a teachers’ strike kept schools closed. (AFP)

 

Sample of Twitter handles tweeting about the continuing mutinies in the Ivory Coast

 

  • @JoeBavierJoe Bavier, Deputy bureau chief for West and Central Africa, Reuters
  • @KamissaCamaraKamissa Camara, Senior Program Officer for West & Central Africa, National Endowment for Democracy
  • @OlivMonOlivier Monnier, Journalist, Bloomberg News
  • @SamiraDakarSamira Daoud, Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns in West and Central Africa, Amnesty International
  • @snlyngaasSean Lyngaas, Freelance journalist covering West Africa

 

Sample of Third Party Validators regarding the continuing mutinies in the Ivory Coast

 

Bjorn Dahlin van Wees, Africa Analyst, The Economist Intelligence Unit

“It’s a warning sign. Behind this picture of strong economic growth and investor interest, Ivory Coast has a lot of vulnerabilities. Many of the underlying problems, such as a discontent within the army, have been forgotten or hidden.”

  • “Army Is Ouattara Achilles’ Heel as Ivory Coast Economy Roars,” Bloomberg, 13JAN17

 

Cynthia Ohayon, West Africa Analyst, International Crisis Group

“It’s not enough just to focus on the economy and attract investors. What’s happening in the army should be the government’s priority. Ouattara’s own stability is at stake.”

  • “Army mutiny exposes cracks in Ivory Coast success story,” Reuters, 19JAN17

 

Julien Kouaho, Author and Political Analyst

“This is not a situation that can reassure investors. The population is terrified. It can be traumatized by these repeated crises and won’t trust the rulers.”

  • “Ivory Coast President Says Government Reaches Deal With Soldiers to End Uprising,” NYT, 07JAN16

 

Maggie Dwyer, Research Fellow, Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh

“Political and military leadership often acquiesces to mutineers and provides payments. But mutinies rarely lead to significant changes within an army. Payments are easier than addressing underlying dissatisfaction among rank-and-file soldiers, especially if their grievances upset or expose military elite. Many of the deeper tensions and aspects of distrust go unresolved, making repeat occurrences common. Ivory Coast is the epitome of this trend. Soldiers in Ivory Coast have mutinied in 1990 (twice), 1993, 1999, 2000 (twice), 2002, 2003, 2008, 2014 and now 2017. They are the most mutinous military in the region, and likely the continent. Their history of revolts precedes the country’s civil war. Resolutions that go far beyond payments will be needed for Ivory Coast to break this cycle.”

  • “The events in Ivory Coast last week were a textbook case of mutiny,” WP, 10JAN17

 

Rinaldo Depagne, West Africa Project Director, International Crisis Group

“The Ivorian Army for a long time now has been very volatile… The conditions in which these guys live are appalling. It doesn’t match with the wealth of the country.”

  • “Ivory Coast President Says Government Reaches Deal With Soldiers to End Uprising,” NYT, 07JAN16

 

Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to the continuing mutinies in the Ivory Coast

 

  1. Ivory Coast gunfire in Abidjan after mutineers paid

 

Media: BBC

Byline: N/A

Date: 17 January 2017

 

Paramilitary forces in Ivory Coast have fired shots into the air in several cities in what seems to be the start of a new mutiny.

 

Shots were heard in the main city Abidjan, the capital, Yamoussoukro, and the western cities of Man and Daloa.

 

Continue Reading

 

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  1. At least two soldiers killed in fresh Ivory Coast unrest

 

Media: Reuters

Byline: Ange Aboa

Date: 17 January 2017

 

At least two soldiers were killed in fresh unrest in Ivory Coast’s capital and gunfire erupted in other cities on Tuesday, signaling further upheaval inside the security forces just as it seemed the government had settled a mutiny in the army.

 

Ivory Coast has emerged from a 2002-2011 crisis marked by two civil wars as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, but over the past two weeks it has struggled to cope with a public sector strike and growing tensions in the military.

 

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  1. I.Coast port seeks to resume operations as mutiny spreads

 

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 18 January 2017

 

Abidjan, Jan 18, 2017 (AFP) – Ivory Coast’s main port of Abidjan, one of Africa’s biggest, was shut down Wednesday when angry security forces began firing into the air during protests by mutinous troops, port staff said.

 

Port management later issued a statement saying it was working to ensure that operations could resume.

 

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  1. I.Coast rocked by protests as deadly army mutiny spreads

 

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: Evelyne Aka with Patrick Fort

Date: 18 January 2017

 

Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast, Jan 18, 2017 (AFP) – Ivory Coast’s government on Wednesday pleaded for calm as deadly protests by angry security forces and troops spread across the country, shutting down the main port of Abidjan.

 

In a bid to quell the rising unrest, which on Tuesday left four soldiers dead, the government pledged to improve the troops’ livelihoods.

 

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  1. Ivory Coast president calls for talks with security services

 

Media: Reuters

Byline: Joe Bavier

Date: 18 January 2017

 

ABIDJAN (Reuters) – Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara ordered his defense minister and the heads of the army, police and gendarmes on Wednesday to hold talks with members of the security forces to discuss grievances in a bid to end two weeks of unrest.

 

“The President of the Republic … asks all soldiers, gendarmes, police, customs officers, forestry service agents and prison guards to facilitate the return of calm,” government spokesman Bruno Kone said following a cabinet meeting.

 

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