ECOWAS mediates in Mali over detained Ivorian soldiers

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Mali hosted a mission deployed by the Economic Community of West African States.

The head of the transitional government Col Assimi Goïta welcomed Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo and Gambian leader Adama Barrow.

The Togolese head of state was represented by his minister of foreign affairs, Robert Dussey.

At the Malian president’s office, the officials discussed the crisis between Mali and Ivory Coast over the fate of Ivorian soldiers arrested upon arrival at the Bamako airport.

Among the 49 arrested in 3rd July, were released following Togo’s mediation in the diplomatic row.

46 remain in custody and were charged with undermining state security; Bamako accusing them of being mercenaries.

Ivory Coast says the troops were supposed to back up the German contingent of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, but their mandate remained obscure.

Bamako suggested a prisoner swap to end the crisis, which Abidjan refuses.

Thursday visit came after; the matter was discussed at an extraordinary ECOWAS summit held on the side-lines of the UN’s General Assembly.


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