Malian citizens have welcomed the pardon granted to the 49 Ivorian soldiers by the head of the Malian junta, Assimi Goïta. The 49 soldiers were arrested last July after being sentenced to 20 years in prison for “undermining the external security of the state”. These certificates have caused a diplomatic row between the two countries.
The Malian government spokesman, Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, said in a statement that the pardon was granted with full remission of the sentences.
Malian citizens described the presidential decision as a relief for the entire international and regional community as well as for the peoples of both countries who share the same culture and land. These citizens welcomed the fact that this conflict was settled amicably and in a diplomatic manner that did not lead to further misunderstandings.
It should be recalled that the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have set a deadline of 1 January for Mali to release the soldiers or face sanctions.