A courtroom in Mali has sentenced 46 Ivorian troops whose detention in Mali sparked a diplomatic row between the 2 international locations to twenty years in jail, the general public prosecutor stated Friday.
Three ladies troopers among the many unique group detained in July, and who have been freed in early September, have been sentenced to demise in absentia.
The trial of the 46 Ivorian troops had wrapped up earlier on Friday after opening within the capital Bamako on Thursday.
The courtroom proceedings got here within the run-up to a January 1 deadline set by West African leaders for Mali to launch the troopers or face sanctions.
The Ivorians have been discovered responsible of an “assault and conspiracy towards the federal government” and in search of to undermine state safety, public prosecutor Ladji Sara stated in an announcement.
The courtroom proceedings have been held behind closed doorways and below heavy safety, an AFP journalist famous.
Forty-nine troops from Ivory Coast have been detained after they arrived at Bamako airport on July 10. Three of them, all ladies, have been later freed.
These remaining, branded by Mali’s junta as “mercenaries”, have been charged the next month with in search of to undermine state safety.
Ivory Coast and the United Nations say the troops have been flown in to offer routine backup safety for the German contingent of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.
The row escalated in September, when diplomatic sources within the area stated Mali wished Ivory Coast to acknowledge its accountability and categorical remorse for deploying the troopers.
Bamako additionally wished Ivory Coast handy over individuals who had been on its territory since 2013 however who’re wished in Mali, they stated.
Ivory Coast rejected each calls for and was ready for prolonged negotiations to free the lads, the sources stated.
An Ivorian delegation travelled to Mali final week for talks on the disaster, and the Ivorian defence ministry stated it was “on the best way to being resolved”.
An settlement reached final week between Mali and Ivory Coast leaves the chance open of a presidential pardon by Mali’s junta chief Assimi Goita, who is because of make a nationwide tackle on Saturday.
On December 4, the Financial Group of West African States (ECOWAS) set New 12 months’s Day as a deadline for the troopers’ launch, failing which the bloc would impose new sanctions towards Mali.