The United Nations called on Monday for the release of Ivorian soldiers detained in Bamako, Mali
The soldiers have been detained since July over accusations of being mercenaries. Ivory Coast insists that the soldiers were unfairly detained after being sent as backup for the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.
"The Secretariat of the United Nations expresses its grave concern about the continued detention since 10 July of Ivorian soldiers in Bamako. The United Nations reiterates its profound appreciation for the contribution of Côte d'Ivoire to the UN peace operations and MINUSMA, in particular. The Secretariat of The United Nations calls for the urgent release of the detained Ivorian soldiers in the spirit of the fraternal relations between the peoples of Côte d'Ivoire and Mali," the statement said.
An armed conflict between government forces and militants of separatist movements began in Mali in 2012. France sent troops to the western African country in 2013 with the stated goal of defeating jihadists in northern Mali and the Sahel. After relations with the former colony soured, France announced in February of this year it would end its mission. French troop withdrawal was completed in August.