The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) are committed for the release of the 49 Ivorian soldiers detained in Mali, says a note from the National Security Council of Cote d’Ivoire (CNS), held on Thursday.
The Ivorian Head of State, Alassane Ouattara thanked during the National Security Council, Mr. Umaro Sissoco Embalo, President of Guinea-Bissau and current Chairman of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS.
He also thanked Mr. Macky Sall, President of Senegal and current Chairman of the African Union, and Ms. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, for showing “solidarity and involvement for the release of the Ivorian soldiers.”
The CNS heard a communication from the Ivorian Minister of Defense on the detention, since Sunday, July 10, 2022, of 49 Ivorian soldiers in Mali, in particular, that after several refusals by the Malian authorities, the Chargé d’Affaires and the Military Attaché of the Ivorian Embassy in Mali were finally able to meet the 49 soldiers.
According to the text, the soldiers, like valiant soldiers, are in high spirits and are bravely enduring their conditions of detention. The CNS deplores the fact that the transitional authorities of Mali continue to detain these soldiers in an arbitrary manner, despite all the explanations and evidence provided.
The Ivorian president also expresses his warm thanks to the president of Togo, Mr. Faure Gnassingbe, for his mediation and for all the initiatives he is undertaking to bring about a diplomatic resolution of this misunderstanding between Cote d’Ivoire and Mali.
The President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire expressed again his solidarity and support to the families of the detainees, while reassuring their families, as well as all the Ivorian people, that “he is personally monitoring this situation for the release of (these) valiant soldiers.”
Cote d’Ivoire feels that its 49 soldiers were “unjustly” arrested on July 10 at Bamako airport and accused by the ruling Malian military of being “mercenaries” seeking to destabilize their country.