Of which 46 soldiers are still detained

Of which 46 soldiers are still detained

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Three of them have managed to return to the country, and at the age of 46 they are still detained in Mali. Among the 49 soldiers from Côte d’Ivoire who were arrested on July 10 in Bamako and accused by the Malian transitional authorities of standing mercenaries They came to destabilize the country, three were released this weekend. Nothing is certain yet regarding the release of the remaining 46 Ivorian soldiers.

As a reminder, Cote d’Ivoire sent these soldiers to support the United Nations Mission in the country (MINUSMA), but the complex administrative situation did not allow the United Nations to establish the framework in which these soldiers were supposed to be deployed.

Three of them – three women – were finally able to return to Abidjan on Saturday evening, an undeniable step forward on this very political issue, which was obtained thanks to the mediation of Togo, which is actively continuing its efforts for the release of 46 others. Cote d’Ivoire soldiers.

Three out of 49, progress is indisputable, but if 46 Côte d’Ivoire soldiers are still being heldIt’s good to keep the discussions under wraps.

Bamako agreed to the gesture. Humanitarian According to the term used by the Togolese mediation, by releasing only three women in the group of 49, evidence of goodwill, beneficial to the image of the financial authorities and proving that a negotiated solution is indeed possible.

However, the Financial Transitional Authorities have not officially commented on this release. It was the Togolese mediation that announced this. The Ivorian authorities have spoken, but from the financial side, this has not been announced, neither from the presidency nor from the government. The procedure for releasing the three soldiers was only officially recorded in a press release issued by the Prosecutor of the Bamako Court of Appeal.

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The others are still being held and charged. They must, in the present state of things, be judged, especially, ” Try to attack the external security of the country “.

Mali wants to apologize

Since the negotiations began, Bamako has asked Abidjan for an apology. form of ” humiliation ”, according to some observers, which Côte d’Ivoire did not agree with.

Abidjan’s recognition of ” shortcomings ” And the'” Mis-understanding », as well as the commitment to respect the new procedures established by Mali and the United Nations, is it sufficient to tick this box? Bamako will also require a written commitment from Côte d’Ivoire. Is she ready for that? With or without an apology?

From a source close to the negotiations, Mali will also demand the extradition of political figures who have sought refuge in Côte d’Ivoire and are wanted by the Malian courts. Karim Keita, son of former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, former Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, and former Minister Timan Hubert Coulibaly, have been cited.

Several sources believe that Bamako could concede this difficult condition of access, but nothing has been recorded and the figures involved, at least for some, are no longer in Abidjan for the time being. A precautionary measure as long as the discussions continue?

The transitional financial authorities will also request Ivorian support to obtain facilities from the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), in order to refinance itself.

Even before the release of the three soldiers, Côte d’Ivoire agreed to send a new unit to inflate the ranks of MINUSMA. 425 people were deployed for ten days in Timbuktu, bringing the total strength of the Ivorian army in Mali on behalf of the UN mission to 650, according to information provided by the Ivorian government.

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Togo’s foreign minister said on Saturday that decisions are still pending. In advancing so that the other captured soldiers can very quickly regain their full freedom “.

a certain optimism

Financial researcher Ali Tunkara follows this issue closely. He directs the Center for Security and Strategic Studies in the Sahel region. Joining RFI, he wants to be somewhat optimistic about their fate.

Immediately after the arrest of these Ivorian soldiers, the transitional authorities in Mali demanded that Côte d’Ivoire recognize that it is not complying with the rules of engagement of its forces. Therefore, I believe that the Ivorian authorities have already made a commitment to comply with the rules of engagement of a United Nations unit, and this recognition is, de facto, obtained from the Ivorian authorities. This can prompt both parties to agree on the basics.

When asked if we know today what the discussions are about for the full release of the Ivorians held in Bamako, Ali Tounkara added: It appears that Bamako will ask for some written commitments, which the Ivorian authorities will not like at this point. But at the rate of constant exchanges between the two parties, it is very likely that we will reach a happy ending, even if the former is already consumed between the two countries. »

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