Guinea's defense minister confirmed that a seized container of weapons bound for strife-torn Mali has been released after a review by experts from ECOWAS, the body representing nations in West Africa.
Abdoul Kabele Camara said the shipment was intercepted in August at the port of Conakry, Guinea's capital. The arms had been ordered by Mali's ex-President Amadou Toumani Toure, who was ousted in a coup in March. Authorities blocked the arms, fearing they might be used by the military clique that led Mali's coup.
Camara said a delegation from ECOWAS inspected the cargo and ruled it should be released. Mali now needs to provide secure transport for the arms over nearly 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) of unmaintained roads separating the two countries.