The president of the Malian transition received the current president of the African Union (AU) at length on Monday at the Koulouba palace. The Senegalese president began a mini-African tour on Monday August 15. Before flying to N’Djamena (Chad) and Libreville (Gabon), Macky Sall stopped for a few hours in the Malian capital where he was received by the president of the transition, Colonel Assimi Goïta. At the Koulouba Palace, the two men discussed several subjects including the burning case of the 49 Ivorian soldiers detained for more than a month in Bamako. On Friday August 12, the Malian courts charged them with “attempting to undermine state security” and “conspiracy against the government” before placing them under a warrant of committal. Abidjan demands their release, not without ensuring that its soldiers were on a mission as part of logistical support operations for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (Minusma). The Senegalese head of state, after his private meeting with Assimi Goïta, did not mention this case in his report to the press. But several sources indicate that it was at the heart of the discussions. “I thank President Assimi Goïta for his friendly welcome. We discussed subjects of common interest relating to the transition process in Mali and bilateral cooperation between our two countries linked by history, neighborhood and the community space of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West Africa)”, summed up Macky Sall on social networks. According to the National Agency for Statistics and Demography (ANSD) of Senegal, nearly 23% of exports from this country are destined for Mali. Several actors in the Dakar-Bamako corridor had suffered from the ECOWAS embargo which lasted about six months. Today, the two countries want to turn the page since, with Macky Sall, Assimi Goïta declared that he “agreed to strengthen cooperation”. Noting that the Malian transition has made “progress after some difficulties” linked to the ECOWAS sanctions, the successor of the Congolese Félix Tshisekedi to the presidency of the African Union (AU) calls today to “accompany Mali on this path for the return to a normal constitutional order within the period provided for in accordance with the authorities’ commitments”. Finally, Macky Sall believes that “the entire international community, our continent in the lead, has an obligation to support Mali to put an end to the multidimensional crisis it is going through”.
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