Ivory Coast requests Mali to free 49 soldiers held in Bamako | United Nations News

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Ivory Coast has confirmed that its men were part of a security agreement signed with the UN in 2019 for Mali.

Ivory Coast has demanded the release of 49 of its soldiers arrested in Mali, an incident that may worsen tensions between Mali’s military rulers and other West African nations amid efforts to quell activity by armed groups linked to al-Qaeda and the ISIL (ISIS group) and restore democratic rule.

On Tuesday, the Ivorian national security council said the troops, who were arrested on Sunday at Mali’s main international airport in the capital Bamako, were deployed as part of a security and logistics support contract signed with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali in July 2019.

They were immediately released.

The statement stated that the soldiers were part 8 of the contingent sent to Mali by the convention. Prior to arrival, their mission order was sent to military authorities and airport authorities.

Mali’s military government had said the troops arrived without permission, that some of their passports indicated non-military professions, and that they gave differing versions of their mandate. The soldiers would be charged and considered mercenaries, it said.

The spokesman for the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, Olivier Salgado, confirmed Ivory Coast’s stance on Twitter.

Ivory Coast stated that no soldiers were carrying arms or war ammunition as they embarked on the planes, but that the UN had authorized a second plane to carry arms for self-protection.

The Reuters news agency requested comment from Malian authorities but they did not respond immediately.

Interim President Colonel Assimi Goita said on Twitter that he had spoken by telephone with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and reiterated the importance of partner nations respecting Mali’s sovereignty.

The country is in dire straits. Restrict armies’ activity, which took root after an uprising and a coup in 2012 and has since spread to neighbouring countries, killing thousands and displacing millions across West Africa’s Sahel region and coastal states.

Since August 2020, Mali’s military government has been in power. been at oddsRegional and international neighbors for not holding promised elections and delaying return to constitutional order.

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