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6 months after detention in Mali, 46 Ivorian soldiers finally back home

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Days after their pardon was announced by the ruling junta of Mali, the erstwhile detained forty-six Ivorian soldiers are back at home in Ivory Coast’s Abidjan.

The freed soldiers landed at the airport in their country’s capital, Abidjan on Saturday after around six months in captivity.

The soldiers were received by the country’s President, Alassane Ouattara who was waiting to greet them at the airport.

“Now that this crisis is behind us, we can resume normal relations with the brother country of Mali,” Ouattara said once they were all on Ivorian soil.

According to Mali at the time of their arrest in July 2022, the soldiers were guilty of “attacking and plotting against the government”, “undermining the external security of the state”, and “possession, carrying and transporting weapons and munitions of war (…) with the aim of disturbing public order through intimidation or terror”, at the end of a two-day trial in Bamako.

Mali under the current junta of Colonel Goita has grown increasingly isolated prompting sanctions from West Africa’s main political and economic bloc ECOWAS. The country has also severed relations with allies like France and is involved in diplomatic loggerheads with others like the US, and Germany, amongst others.

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Court okays continued trial of Mauritania Ex-President, Ould Abdel Aziz

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A court in Mauritania has ruled that the trial of former President, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz for illicit enrichment can continue.

The court on Tuesday decided not to rule on challenges to its jurisdiction until the end of the proceedings.

The ex-president’s lawyers have been battling over the court’s jurisdiction, with an argument that the criminal chamber could not try Mr. Aziz and his dozen co-defendants.

The court ruled on the jurisdiction and decided that it would be decided at the same time as that of the guilt or not of the defendants after the debates on the merits of the case.

His lawyers also requested the release of Aziz who has been placed in detention the day before the opening. The court ended up rejecting these requests.

Mr. Aziz, alongside two former prime ministers, former ministers, and businessmen, has been on trial since January 25 for having abused his power in order to amass an immense fortune.

He led this pivotal country between North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa from 2008 to 2019, an era shaken by coups and jihadist actions but returned to stability under his presidency.

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Tunisian president dismisses foreign minister, Othman Jerandi

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Tunisian sit-tight President, Kais Saied has sacked Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi on Tuesday and replaced him with the former ambassador to the European Union and Belgium Nabil Ammar.

According to a statement from the presidency’s office, which announced the development, no reason was given for Jerandi’s dismissal or Ammar’s appointment.

Jerandi who was appointed foreign minister in 2020tweeted earlier on Tuesday that he had phoned his Syrian counterpart after Saied had tasked him with directing aid to Syria and Turkey in response to the earthquakes there.

” A call with my brother, Dr. Faisal Al-Miqdad, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Syria. I informed him of the sympathy and solidarity of Tunisia, the president, the government, and the people, with brotherly Syria, and we coordinated regarding the extension of Tunisian solidarity authorized by the President to support its efforts in confronting the effects of the earthquake. May God have mercy on the victims and speed up the recovery of the wounded.

May God protect Syria and its people from all harm” (Translated)

President Saied sacked the government, suspended parliament, and seized a string of powers in July 2021. He also sacked the prime minister and moved to rule by decree, but at that time he kept Jerandi in place.

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