Mali Military Justice announced on Wednesday, April 6, the start of an investigation into the latest events in Moura (the center of the country), where civilian mass execution by Mali soldiers and foreign fighters was reported.
In its continuation “Allegations of alleged abuses against civilians are being investigated by the National Gendermary on the instructions of the Ministry of Defense and Veterans Affairs to shed full light on these allegations.”, In a press release, wrote the lawyer in Mopti’s military court. The lawyer will go ” soon “ At the site with investigators and a medical examiner, the report added.
The military-dominated Malian authorities, who came to power by force in 2020, have been pushing from all sides to open an independent inquiry into the events in Mora, a region between March 27 and 31. Major centers of violence in Sahel.
Completely opposite versions
Witnesses interviewed by the Malian military and the press or the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) offer completely opposite versions. Says first “Neutralized” 203 jihadists during a major operation. The latter reports brief executions of civilians, rapes and robberies committed by Mali soldiers and foreign militants believed to be Russians. The HRW claims that 300 civilians were hanged, including some suspected jihadists, and talks about this “The Worst Chapter of Atrocities” Made since the outbreak of violence in Mali in 2012.
On Wednesday, the UN Human Rights Council convened in Mali. Independent expert Allion Tyne has joined forces with France, the United States, the European Union and the Mali Commission on Human Rights to call for an inquiry.
UN spokesman Stephen Dujarric told reporters in New York that the United Nations had launched an investigation and that experts from the UN embassy in Mali (MINUSMA) were trying to visit the site. “As soon as possible”. However, such a trip is subject to the goodwill of the Malian authorities. The press release from the Mopti Military Court said nothing about the possibility that its trials could involve non-Malian investigators.
Impunity was condemned
In January 2021, investigators from the Minusma human rights wing visited the site of a strike by the French anti-jihadi force “Barcane” in Poundi (center). Their statement ended with the deaths of nineteen citizens who had gathered to celebrate the wedding next March, and not just jihadists as Paris has always maintained.
The Malian army, like others in Sahel, continues to be accused of abuse. She makes sure to investigate when needed. But rights defenders continue to denounce such acts as going unpunished. UN expert Allion Tyne urged Malian authorities in a statement “Provide unrestricted access to the Human Rights Division so that it can conduct a full investigation.”.
“Massive allegations, dozens of civilians have been killed during these operations. I urge the Malian authorities to conduct a full, independent, impartial and effective investigation as soon as possible.”, Mr. Said Tyne. He also said that the results of these investigations should be made public.
The Moura events are set against the backdrop of ongoing reconstruction since the military junta withdrew from France and its European allies and returned to Russia to reclaim land left to jihadists since 2012.
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