A spokesman 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 15 million CFA francs.
Diplomats said the move signaled that the government was beginning to implement a military reform law. According to a copy of the law seen by Reuters, 4,400 troops are to leave the army over four years.
It was not immediately clear if that figure includes soldiers already scheduled to retire during the period.
Ivory Coast’s army was thrown together from rival loyalist and rebel factions at the end of a 2011 civil war that brought President Alassane Ouattara to power after his predecessor Laurent Gbagbo rejected his defeat in a 2010 run-off election.
It remains plagued by internal divisions. Diplomats and analysts say the force is bloated with unqualified personnel and vulnerable to political manipulation.
An adviser to Parliament Speaker Guillaume Soro, considered a leading candidate to replace term-limited President Ouattara in 2020, was arrested in October after a secret arms cache at his home helped mutinying soldiers halt a loyalist advance.