Potential Hot Spots: July 15, 2000


In December, 1999, an army coup in the Ivory Coast put a military junta in charge of the government. The officers accused the politicians of being corrupt. This is an accusation that would probably stick. On July 4, 2000, there were two days of unrest as several hundred soldiers mutinied. The soldiers felt they should have been paid large bonuses for their part in the December coup. The junta saw another coup, against them this time, in the works. At one point, some mutineers went to the main prison and got half a dozen politicians, held for corruption, set free. Several dozen soldiers and civilians were arrested after the mutiny was settled. The junta negotiated with mutineers and agreed to pay each soldier a $1,400 bonus (equal to two years pay, the soldiers were demanding $8,500,). During the mutiny, there was quite a bit of looting. Soldiers took $37,000 from one bank and much property damage resulted before the government could restore order. The junta has blamed opposition politicians for the mutiny, but the RDR (Rally of Republicans) party has denied this. A few too many beers is the more likely instigator. The junta is holding an election in late July to determine if the new constitution should go into force. The junta has also promised elections for a new government in the Fall. While armed rebellion to the junta is not likely at the moment, that could change.


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