The 46 Ivorian soldiers detained in Bamako are not yet free

The 46 Ivorian soldiers detained in Bamako are not yet free

AA / Bamako / Amarana Maiga

The 46 Ivorian soldiers detained in Bamako since July 10 should still wait until Friday, December 30 to fix their fate, contrary to the false news that had circulated Thursday, reporting their release following an alleged suspended sentence. .

The trial of these 46 soldiers began Thursday at the Bamako Court of Appeal for very serious charges, namely, “criminal association, attack and conspiracy against the government, attack on the external security of the State, possession, carrying and transport of arms and ammunition for war or defense intentionally in relation to an individual and collective enterprise aimed at seriously disturbing public order through intimidation or terror and complicity”.

The hearing, which had started around 9:00 a.m., was suspended at the end of the day by the interim president of the Bamako Court of Appeal, Aljoumagat Ag Inalkamar, after the identification of the defendants, all of Ivorian nationality. .

The session will continue on Friday according to the judicial authority.

A judicial source told Anadolu Agency that “no decision has yet been taken regarding the release of the Ivorian soldiers”.

The media were not allowed to attend the hearings and a heavy military force was put in place.

This special hearing comes a few days after Mali and Côte d’Ivoire signed a memorandum serving as the basis for a happy ending for the release of the 46 Ivorian soldiers detained in Bamako since July 10, 2022, qualified by the Malian authorities as ” mercenaries”.

An Ivorian-Togolese delegation led by the Ivorian Minister of Defense, Téné Birahima Ouattara, had been received in audience on December 22 in Bamako by the President of the Transition then extended to the Malian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdoulaye Diop, as well as to the Minister of State, Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga.

“As you know, there was a misunderstanding between the Republic of Mali and that of Côte d’Ivoire a few months ago. It was good that we could meet to talk about it. This is what we have done with our Malian brothers and President Assimi Goïta has done us the honor of receiving so that I can convey to him the message of President Alassane Ouattara”, the Ivorian Minister of Defense told the press. upon leaving the hearing.

As a reminder, the Malian authorities arrested 49 soldiers at Bamako airport on July 10, describing them as “mercenaries” with threatening intentions, for lack of proper papers justifying their presence on Malian soil.

The incident took on a large scale and several mediations took place to obtain their release. Only three women were released by Bamako while the 46 others were imprisoned.

The Economic Community of West African States had given an ultimatum to Bamako, until December 31, 2022, for their release.

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