In Mali, the government arrested 49 soldiers from Côte d’Ivoire and then considered them “mercenaries”

The transitional government is fiscal mercenaries Forty-nine soldiers from Côte d’Ivoire were arrested on Sunday at Bamako airport. Decided, Monday, July 11, to To make it available to the competent judicial authorities..

“It has been established that forty-nine soldiers from Côte d’Ivoire were illegally present in Mali’s national territory. (…) in possession of weapons and ammunition of war, without a mission order or permission.”Government spokesman Colonel Abdullah Maiga said in a statement read Monday evening on national television. “It is clear that the murderous intent of the detainees was to break down the dynamics of re-establishment and financial security, as well as to return to the constitutional order”Mr. Maiga said.

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Mali, a landlocked country in the heart of the Sahel region, has been the scene of two military coups in August 2020 and May 2021. It recently adopted a transitional timetable allowing civilians to return to power in March 2024. The political crisis goes hand in hand with a serious security crisis since the outbreak of rebellions Separatism and Jihadism in the North in 2012.

Elements of national support

A spokesman for the United Nations Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), Olivier Salgado, had earlier hinted that the captured soldiers were part of theElements of national support (NSE) Logistics in Minusma. The NSEs identified on his Twitter account Mr. Salgado are National personnel deployed by troop-contributing countries to support their units (…), It is a common practice in peacekeeping missions.”. “According to our information, the national authorities could have been informed in advance of their relief on July 10”as he said.

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The financial authorities, for their part, indicated that their Ministry of Foreign Affairs had not been informed through official channels. As Bamako pointed out, a ‘blatant violation’ of the Financial Penal Code, Criminalization of attacks on the external security of the state, including attacks on the integrity of the territory.

A diplomat from Cote d’Ivoire told AFP under the cover of anonymity that some of the detained Ivorian soldiers had come to Mali on the basis of an agreement to work on the logistics base of Sahelian Aviation Services on behalf of Minusma.

For its part, Bamako confirms that the arrested soldiers put forward four different formulas to justify their presence on Malian territory: “Secret mission, rotation under the Minusma, securing the logistics base of the Coast Air Aviation Services Company and protecting the German unit.” Thus, the financial government decided “Immediate termination of Sahelian Aviation Services protection activity by foreign forces and a demand for their immediate departure from Malian territory”.

virus spread

info from “Arrest” Of the soldiers of Côte d’Ivoire began broadcasting on social networks on Sunday before it spread widely, with some accusing these soldiers of this mercenaries Came to Mali “make a coup”. On Monday evening, the Ivorian authorities had yet to officially respond.

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In January, the ruling military junta in Bamako asked Denmark to withdraw its newly arrived but deployed forces “without his consent”. Copenhagen was denounced ‘Dirty political game’. Turning away from France and its partners, it turned to Russia to try to stop the spread of the jihad that had spread in the center of the country as well as to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger. The resulting violence left thousands of civilians and soldiers dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. With nearly 13,000 troops, the Minusma – created in 2013 to support the political process in Mali – was extended for a year, on June 29.

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The world with AFP

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