Malian authorities arrested about 50 Ivorian soldiers upon their arrival at Bamako International Airport on July 10, 2022. The ruling military junta accuses them of being “mercenaries”. Two days later, in a press release, Côte d’Ivoire called for the release “without a deadline” of his soldiers “unjustly arrested.” Here are some elements to understand the purpose of this political and military estrangement between these two neighboring countries in West Africa.
What do you blame Mali for the Ivorian soldiers?
The transitional government estimated that 49 soldiers from Côte d’Ivoire had arrived in its territory the previous day “Illegally found in (for him) province “Years press release published on 11 July. consequences : They were arrested on the spot, and their weapons, ammunition and equipment were seized.” According to Bamako, the soldiers justified their presence in the country by providing support Four different versions..
To find out , “Covert mission, rotation under the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), securing the airline’s logistics base Coast Aviation Services protection of the German battalion.
Financial authorities reported that Minusma She indicated that she did not have a date for the rotation on July 10, 2022. Bamako also explained it “The leaders of the Malian Defense and Security Forces immediately contacted their Ivorian counterparts.” who have “They claimed that they were unaware of the presence of the detained Ivorian soldiers”.
How did Côte d’Ivoire react?
Through a press release published on 12 July, Abidjan confirmed that these soldiers belong to the Ivorian army and are in Mali. “As part of the National Support Element (NSE) operations”. their presence Consistent with contingent support mechanisms from troop-contributing countries to peacekeeping missions And the Known to the financial authorities. This publication is the result ofThe signing of an agreement in July 2019 between Côte d’Ivoire and the United Nations ” And the From “Signing a security and logistical support contract with Societe Air Services (SAS)”.
Under this agreement, the soldiers of Côte d’Ivoire “Presented” At Bamako International Airport since it was signed. According to Côte d’Ivoire, the 49 soldiers arrested are part of the eighth unit deployed in this context and the financial officials have been informed. “Upon arrival” of these soldiers on their land. so “A copy of the mission order issued by the unit has been forwarded to the airport authorities in Mali to certify the regularity of the mission.” Just like the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation refuted by the transitional government, as well as the Chief of Staff of the Malian army.
Earlier today, the pro-government newspaper morning fellowship he returned to “contradictions” from Bamako.
“Let’s take the financial logic. Mercenaries are leaving Côte d’Ivoire to attack Mali. They are not traveling by warplane but by troop transport plane. They descend quietly to the airport, only with their gift weapons. And an extraordinary fact, they present themselves under control “joked the article.
“Have Malian soldiers accustomed to jihadist attacks ever encountered armed men descending with the noise of (the plane’s engine), greeting them kindly and subjecting them to searches?”Matthew Bledson
What is the position of the United Nations mentioned by the countries?
“These are not MINUSMA units“said from the outset about the Ivorian soldiers the spokesman for the UN mission Olivier Salgado, who was contacted by France Info Africa on July 12, and insisted on the information already provided in Share on Twitter a day ago. He referred to several arguments put forward by Côte d’Ivoire, in particular the facts That these soldiers Posted for several years (in Mali) In the context of logistical support And the country’s authorities have been notified.
Soldiers were arrested on Sunday at an airport #Bamako Not part of a unit #minosma. These soldiers have been deployed for several years in # Financial As part of logistical support on behalf of one of our units. 1/6
– Olivier Salgado (@olivier_salgado) 11 July 2022
“According to our information, the national authorities could have been informed in advance of their relief on July 10”Olivier Salgado said on the social network.