The trial of the 46 Ivorian soldiers arrested in Mali since last July has started at the Bamako Court of Appeal.As announced by APA on Wednesday 28 December, the trial of the 46 Ivorian soldiers began on Thursday 29 December 2022 at 9am at the Court of Appeal in Bamako.
Assisted by a pool of five lawyers, they are charged with “criminal conspiracy, attack and conspiracy against the government, undermining the external security of the state, possession, carrying and transporting weapons and ammunition of war or defense intentionally in relation to an individual and collective enterprise aimed at serious disturbance.”
The hearing is held behind closed doors under tight security within the building.
Apart from the lawyers and staff of the court of appeal, as well as representatives of some international organizations, the military, which is keeping a watchful eye on the situation, has emptied the room for a closed trial.
According to many observers, this acceleration in the proceedings is intended to free them after the signing of a memorandum a week ago between the Malian and Ivorian authorities in the presence of the Togolese head of diplomacy, whose country plays the role of mediator in the Malian crisis.
After the 62nd Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja on December 4, the chair of the organization’s Commission, Omar Alieu Touray, did not rule out new sanctions against Mali
“If the Ivorian soldiers are not released before January 1, 2023. This situation had crystallized relations between Abidjan and Bamako for many months, since at the time of their arrest on July 10, the Malian authorities considered “Ivorian soldiers” to be “mercenaries,” while Abidjan claims that they are members of its regular army.