[Stop-traffic] News/Ivory Coast: Police Arrest Suspected Malian Child Trafficker

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/Ivory Coast: Police Arrest Suspected Malian Child Trafficker
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Sun Oct 15 2000 - 20:54:25 EDT


                 Police Arrest Suspected Malian Child Trafficker

OTC 10/6/00 9:47 PM

  Bamako, Mali (PANA) (Panafrican News Agency, October 6, 2000) - A young
Malian is awaiting trial in Sikasso after being arrested with four children
he was suspected to have been taking as plantation labourers into Cote
d'Ivoire, where he resides.
    The country's news agency reported that Omar Traore was was arrested 29
September at the entrance of Sikasso, 380 km from Bamako.
    Traore, who had recruited the children at night with the help of two
accomplices in his village, had managed to take them to Kignan and later to
Sika, on the border with Cote d'Ivoire, which employs many children
plantation labourers from Mali.
    He has been remanded pending appearance in court while the four children
were handed back to their respective families.
    Two days before Traore was arrested, the Malian Consular Office in
Bouake had handed seven children to Sikaso regional officials. The children
had been found working in central Cote d'Ivoire.
    Mali and Cote d'Ivoire signed an agreement in Sptember to stop the long-
standing problem of trafficking in children.
    This followed a recent report by the UNICEF Office in Abidjan that
thousands of Malian children are employed in Ivorian plantations, where
they are paid meagre wages.
    In June, the Malian government drew up an 18-month 825-million-CFA-franc
plan of action to return 1,800 children affected by this trafficking.
    Copyright 2000 Panafrican News Agency. Distributed via Africa News
Online.
             -0-

     Copyright 2000
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