Ivory Coast asks Mali to release 49 soldiers arrested in Bamako
Ivory Coast has asked for the release of 49 of its soldiers who have been arrested in Mali. This incident may worsen tensions between Mali’s military rulers and the other West African nations as other nations work to end activity by armed groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL and restore democratic rule in Mali.
The troops were arrested at Mali’s main international airport in Bamako on Sunday. They had been deployed as part of a security and logistics support contract with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali in July 2019. The Ivorian national security council demanded their release on Tuesday. The troops were the eighth rotation sent to Mali under the convention and the airport authorities, along with the military government, had their mission order prior to their arrival. The military government of Mali said the soldiers would be considered mercenaries and arrived without permission, and would be charged accordingly.