Faki Mahamat and Sissoco Embalo welcome the release of Ivorian soldiers

Faki Mahamat and Sissoco Embalo welcome the release of Ivorian soldiers

AA / Abidjan / Peter Kum

The release of Ivorian soldiers detained since July in Mali, pardoned and released on Saturday evening by the head of the Malian junta, Colonel Assimi Goïta, was welcomed by the President of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Moussa Faki Mahamat , and by the President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS), Umaro Sissoco Embalo.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, praised on Twitter the “happy outcome of the case of the Ivorian soldiers arrested in Mali” and “the wisdom of the Ivorian and Malian authorities”.

He also “congratulated the Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé” for his mediation because it is what “has tirelessly contributed to the resolution of this crisis”.

Umaro Sissoco Embalo, President of Guinea-Bissau and also current President of ECOWAS also welcomed, in a tweet, “the release and return to Abidjan of the 46 Ivorian soldiers” and paid “tribute to President Alassane Ouattara of the Côte d’Ivoire”. ‘Ivoire for the lofty view and the peaceful spirit he showed in this happy ending’ after six months of negotiations.

President Faure Gnassingbé of Togo, mediator of this crisis between Côte d’Ivoire and Mali, said in a statement on Saturday that he “welcomed this happy ending and reiterated his commitment to continue to to work for peace between States and cohesion between peoples”.

According to him, it is a happy ending which relieves all the stakeholders and which contributes to the strengthening of cohesion” between the States.

Lomé underlined that the Togolese stopover of the 46 Ivorian soldiers on Saturday evening, “allowed the (Ivorian) delegation to express the gratitude of the soldiers and of Côte d’Ivoire as a whole to the Head of State for his involvement in management of this crisis and for his leadership”.

The release of these soldiers accused by Mali of being “mercenaries” who had come to destabilize it and arrested on July 10, 2022 at Bamako airport, was demanded from the start by Côte d’Ivoire which, with the UN, affirmed that they had to participate in the security of the German contingent of blue helmets in this Sahelian country shaken by violence.

This case has caused great tension between two “brotherly” and neighboring countries according to the Ivorian President.

The President of the Malian Transition, Colonel Assimi Goïta, decided on Friday evening to pardon with full remission of sentences the 49 Ivorian soldiers sentenced by the Bamako Court of Appeal to 20 years’ imprisonment for 46 soldiers and to the death penalty for the three female soldiers. The three women were released in mid-September.

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