Examining Mutinies in Côte d’Ivoire

Jonathan Powell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Security Studies Ph.D. candidates Rebecca Schiel and Christopher Faulkner, along with assistant professor Jonathan Powell, recently published an analysis in the journal Africa Spectrum.  Their analysis, titled “Mutiny in Côte d’Ivoire,” explores the causes and consequences of the mutinies that have taken place in Côte d’Ivoire since 1990. With a particular focus on the three mutinies that struck the country in the first half of 2017, Schiel, Faulkner, and Powell offer a comparison of recent events with past mutinies in Côte d’Ivoire.

The authors identify a number of parallels between recent events and past mutinies, and point out that even half a decade removed from civil war, the challenges presented in the post-conflict environment, particularly with civil-military relations, prove difficult to overcome. The fragility of civil–military relations, including challenges of demobilization and disarmament, integration of rebel forces, consequences of soldiers having contributed to a leader’s ascendance, and the perils of soldier loyalties lying with personalities instead of the state, have each contributed to the continued volatility between the military and the government.  They conclude that the loyalty of the armed forces raises serious concerns about the trajectory of Côte d’Ivoire’s future.  As long as questionable loyalties persist, so to do questions regarding the stability for the West African nation.

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