West African bloc asks Mali to free 46 Ivorian troops

West African leaders on Sunday informed Mali’s ruling junta to launch 46 Ivorian troops captured in July or face sanctions, officers mentioned.

“We ask the Malian authorities to release the Ivorian soldiers by January 1, 2023,” Omar Alieu Touray, president of the Financial Neighborhood of West African States (ECOWAS) Fee, informed journalists at a summit in Nigeria.

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Gambian diplomat Touray additionally mentioned the West African bloc reserves the correct to behave if the troopers will not be launched by January 1.

If Mali doesn’t achieve this, ECOWAS will impose sanctions, a West African diplomat informed AFP.

Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe, who has mediated between Mali and Ivory Coast on the difficulty, will journey to Mali to “demand” the discharge of the troopers, the diplomat added.

The Ivorian troops have been arrested on July 10 on arrival on the airport in Mali’s capital, Bamako.

Ivory Coast says the troops have been despatched to supply backup for the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA, and are being unjustly detained.

Mali says the troops are mercenaries and has positioned them in custody accused of making an attempt to hurt state safety.

(AFP)

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