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Mali junta leader pardons detained Ivorian soldiers

Col. Assimi Goita meets with a high-level delegation from the West African regional bloc known as ECOWAS, at the Ministry of Defense in Bamako, Mali.   -  
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Mali's military junta leader, Colonel Assimi Goita, pardoned the 49 Ivorian soldiers convicted of undermining Mali's state security and conspiracy against the government on Friday.

The pardon comes one week after 46 of the soldiers were sentenced to 20 years in prison. The three women who had been freed early September were tried in absentia and sentenced to death.

Government spokesperson, Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, shared the news on national Malian television

"His Excellency Col. Assimi Goita, President of the Transition, Head of State granted his pardon with full remission of sentences to the 49 Ivoirians convicted by the Malian courts”

This gesture by colonel Goita is prompted as a way to keep the peace between the neighboring countries

“This gesture, which once again, demonstrates his attachment to peace, dialogue, pan-Africanism, and the preservation of fraternal and secular relations with the countries of the region," added Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga. 

The 49 soldiers were detained in July when they went to work for Sahelian Aviation Services, a private company contracted to work in Mali by the United Nations. A January 1rst deadline set by ECOWAS for Mali to release the soldiers was missed but ECOWAS decided not to sanction the country.

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