Africa’s fastest-growing economy last year, Ivory Coast was hit earlier this year by successive uprisings by low-ranking troops. The costly bonuses paid to end the unrest helped to balloon the budget deficit this year, and the episode tarnished its image as one of the continent’s rising economic stars.
The government said last week that it would retire about 1000 soldiers by the end of the year as part of efforts to bring the force - estimated at about 25000 troops - in line with “accepted standards”.
A spokesperson did not say last week how much the soldiers would receive under the voluntary scheme. However, a document obtained by Reuters outlining the plan stated that each retired soldier would receive a payment of 15m CFA francs.
Neither the spokesperson nor Ivory Coast’s defence minister were available to comment yesterday.