Malian authorities arrested nearly 50 soldiers from Ivory Coast who came to the country to work for a contracting company of the United Nations mission in Mali. The government made the announcement Monday calling the Ivorian soldiers “mercenaries,” in a move that could raise tensions between the two West African countries. Two aircraft arrived at Mali’s international airport Sunday with the 49 soldiers “with their weapons and ammunition of war, as well as other military equipment,” said the Malian government spokesman. U.N. mission spokesman Olivier Salgado said these Ivorian soldiers “are not part of one of the MINUSMA contingents, but have been deployed for several years in Mali as part of logistical support on behalf of one of our contingents.” He said that their arrival as relief would have been communicated beforehand to the national authorities.