Ivory Coast calls on Mali to release 49 arrested in Bamako

Ivory Coast said it will continue with its diplomatic efforts to get the release of 49 soldiers held in Mali since last July 10.

According to a source close to the presidency, local Executive also rejected that the (49) soldiers, who arrived in Bamako to support a UN peace mission, were taken hostage, according to the digital portal Africa News.

Days earlier, Malian transitional authorities accused the Ivorian soldiers of entering the country with no legal documents and of committing mercenarism.

The Ivorian soldiers, who arrived at MaliĀ“s main international airport in the capital Bamako loaded with weapons and ammo, were positioned illegally in the national territory, with permission by the UN Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA), said Malian Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga.

The 49-soldier contingent was not part of MINUSMA, but was instead deployed by countries integrated into the mission.

The arrest of the 49 soldiers has triggered a diplomatic crisis between the two African governments.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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