Ivorian troops in Mali pardoned, left Bamako
Mali's Junta leader Lt. Col. Assimi Goita pardons Ivorian soldiers detained in Mali since July 2022.
A day after being pardoned by the leader of Mali's junta, 46 Ivorian soldiers, who had been jailed there since July on suspicion of being mercenaries, left the country's capital, Bamako, according to AFP, citing an airport official and a diplomatic source.
"The plane carrying 46 Ivorian soldiers has just taken off from Bamako", the airport official said.
According to a Malian court source, the troops were charged with attempting to disrupt national security in August 2022 by a prosecutor in Bamako. They had, at the time, already been detained for more than a month.
The Ivory Coast has disputed the charge and asked that the troops be released, claiming that they were reinforcements for the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA.
Negotiations to liberate the soldiers began, with Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe serving as a mediator.
The troops' detention following their arrival at Bamako airport on July 10 triggered a diplomatic crisis between military-ruled Mali and its West African neighbor.
Read more: Mali demands compensation for release of Ivorian soldiers