Malian soldiers detained by rebels communicate with their families

The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) which was chased away from the main towns in northern Mali, is still holding 79 Malian soldiers at Tinzaouat locality near the Algerian border.

The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) which was chased away from the main towns in northern Mali, is still holding 79 Malian soldiers at Tinzaouat locality near the Algerian border.

The detainees got a visit from a regional delegation of the International Community of the Red Cross (CICR) for Mali and Niger, on July 29 and July 30.

On this occasion, one Malian soldier who was sick, was handed over to the CICR delegation.

An official of the humanitarian organization who participated in the said mission to northern Mali and who did not wish to be named, said the detained soldiers received food that had been carried by CICR.

They were also identified and registered, before communicating with their family members living in different parts of Mali through the satellite phones that were availed by the CICR delegation.

They also wrote messages and the CICR which is responsible for delivering the messages to their destinations, promised to come back to deliver the responses from their families.

On April 17, 2012, following the mediation efforts of Mali’s Supreme Islamic Council, 169 soldiers who had been detained by Ansar Dine group of Iyad Ag Ghaly, were freed and handed over to the Malian
authorities.

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