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Former president Gbagbo calls on Mali junta leader over fate of detained Ivorian soldiers

Former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo speaks during the first anniversary celebration of his new party "Parti des Peuples Africains, Cote d’Ivoire", on Oct 17, 2022.   -  
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ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP -

Ivory Coast

In Abidjan, Monday, former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo celebrated the first anniversary of his political group African People's Party – Côte d'Ivoire.

During a conference marking the occasion, the 77-year-old made a first official comment on the detention of 46 Ivorian soldiers in Mali.

They were arrested upon arrival in Bamako on July 10 and were accused of being mercenaries.

"President Assimi Goïta (head of the Malian junta) should be asked to think about his brotherhood of arms with those (Ivorian soldiers) who are in prison there", Gbagbo said.

The leader of the PPA-CI party called on the Togolese president who mediates the crisis to redouble his efforts to help solve the diplomatic row.

During the conference, eyes were also set on domestic politics and the 2025 presidential race. If Gbagbo has not officially announced his bid, for the executive secretary it's an obvious fact.

"For the 2025 elections, President Laurent Gbagbo is our natural candidate", Damanan Pickass.

President Alassane Ouattara has led the country since 2010. In addition to Gbagbo’s party, other Ivorian opposition parties include the (PDCI) by former leader Henri Konan Bédié, and the (MGC) by former First Lady Simone Gbagbo.

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