March 1, 2017 / 9:39 AM / 9 months ago

Morocco's Attijariwafa Bank signs deals with Ivory Coast defence ministry

RABAT, March 1 (Reuters) - Attijariwafa Bank, one of Morocco’s biggest banks, has signed two agreements with Ivory Coast’s Ministry of Defence, according to a statement from the bank.

The agreements includes participating in financing of two new military camps as well as establishing a line of credit to finance housing for members of the Ivory Coast’s Armed Forces.0

Like other large Moroccan companies, Attijariwafa Bank has been expanding in Africa. It has subsidiaries in Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Mali, among other countries, as well as branches in Europe.

The bank, controlled by Moroccan royal family holding SNI, said in a statement this week that the two agreements would “improve working and living conditions” for the Ivory Coast army.

No details about the total costs of the agreements were immediately available. The deals come over a month after soldiers in Ivory Coast reached an agreement with the government resolving a dispute over bonus payments that sparked a mutiny.

Morocco’s King has also been on a tour of Africa since last year, campaigning for Morocco to rejoin the African Union, which it did at an AU summit in January. Morocco is pushing its own solution for its Western Sahara dispute with the Polisario independence movement.

Due to problems left over from years of civil war and political turmoil, the Ivory Coast government has failed to bring significant reform to the army, which remains a patchwork of former rebel fighters and troops who stayed loyal to the government during the 2002-2011 crisis. (Reporting by Samia Errazzouki; editing by Patrick Markey and Louise Heavens)

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