Panafrican News Agency

Sub-regional body calls for resolution of Mali-Côte d'Ivoire dispute

Bamako, Mali (PANA) - The Inter-Parliamentary Committee (IPC) of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) announced on Wednesday that it was sending a delegation to Abidjan and Bamako to resolve the dispute over the arrest of 49 Ivorian soldiers by Mali.

Media reports said the IPC, which met on Wednesday in Abidjan, said it was "deeply concerned" and called on the "high authorities of these two countries to dialogue".

It pledged to "use parliamentary diplomacy to reach a peaceful settlement of this dispute between the two brotherly states", according to a resolution read by Sana Kande, the first permanent secretary of WAEMU, which groups French-speaking West African countries.

On 10 July, the transitional government of Mali announced the arrest in Bamako of the Ivorian soldiers whom it described as "mercenaries".

The United Nations and Cote d'Ivoire have explained that the soldiers were in Mali on a rotation mission of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), but Mali has rejected it.

On 15 August, the soldiers were charged with "attempting to undermine state security" by the examining magistrate of the anti-terrorism unit in Bamako.

Togo was the first country to play the role of mediator between the two neighbouring states. The first talks, which started in Lomé on 28 July, did not lead to any progress.

-0- PANA GT/JSG/BBA/MA 26Aug2022