In Bamako, the trial of 46 Ivorian soldiers arrested in July in Mali

The 46 Ivorian soldiers suspected of being “mercenaries” and detained in Mali since July are on trial Thursday, December 29 at the Bamako Court of Appeal, a court official and a lawyer for the Ivorian soldiers told AFP.

On July 10, 49 Ivorian soldiers were arrested in Mali and then charged in mid-August with “attempting to undermine the external security of the State” and formally imprisoned. Three women were later released. Abidjan assures that these soldiers were on a mission for the UN, as part of logistical support operations for the United Nations mission in Mali (Minusma), and demands their release.

A week ago, an official Ivorian delegation met the Malian authorities in an atmosphere “fraternal” and the Ivorian Minister of Defense assured that the case was “in the process of being resolved”.

Read also: In Mali, the indictment of 49 Ivorian soldiers complicates negotiations with Abidjan

“After the investigation of the case by the military justice, we enrolled him for referral to a special judgment without a public hearing” on Thursday, a substitute for the Bamako Court of Appeal told AFP: “What should be remembered is that the Bamako Court of Appeal will try the 46 Ivorian soldiers arrested on July 10, 2022 at Bamako airport with weapons. »

The information was confirmed to AFP by a lawyer for the Ivorian military. A source within the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also assured AFP “to have observer status at the trial of the 46 which opens today at the Bamako Court of Appeal”.

In early December in Abuja, West African leaders meeting at a summit without Mali had demanded that the 46 Ivorian soldiers be released before 1er January, under penalty of new sanctions against Bamako.

The World with AFP

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