The Malian presidency pardons 49 Ivorian soldiers sentenced at the end of December

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Malian authorities have pardoned 49 Ivorian soldiers arrested in July and convicted on December 30 on charges of conspiring against the Bamako government, the country’s presidency said on Friday.

These arrests caused a diplomatic quarrel between the two countries and the attitude of Mali was condemned by the countries of the region.

All were arrested at Bamako airport but three of them were later released.

The 46 others received prison sentences of up to 20 years for, among other things, “crime of attack and conspiracy” and “undermining the external security of the State”. The three released soldiers were sentenced to death in absentia.

“Colonel Assimi Go├»ta, president of the transition, head of state has granted his pardon to the 49 Ivorians sentenced by Malian justice,” said a spokesman for the presidency, reading a statement on state television.

(Tiemoko Diallo; French version Nicolas Delame)

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