In Mali the junta castigated the fictitious narrative in the

In Mali, the junta castigated the “fictitious narrative” in the UN report accusing the army of executing 500 people in Moura

A “biased report based on a fictional account”: The Malian junta on Saturday, May 13, condemned the United Nations (UN) Organization report accusing the army and “foreign” fighters during a Attacking at least 500 people for having executed anti-jihadist operation in Moura in March 2022.

According to government spokesman Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga, the Malian courts have launched an investigation into the events in Moura. “No civilian from Moura lost his life during the military operation,” he said in a statement read on state television. “Among the dead were only terrorist fighters,” he added.

According to the report published on Friday by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the events in Moura in the center of the country, about which there have been conflicting versions for a year, are the worst of their kind in this country. However, he is linked to the atrocities committed by jihadists and other armed groups since 2012. The report is the most accusatory document produced against the Malian armed forces, which have been involved on several occasions in the past.

Also read: Mali: A UN report accuses the army and ‘foreign’ fighters of having executed 500 people in Moura in 2022

The High Commissioner “has reasonable grounds to believe” that between March 27 and 31, 2022, in this town of a few thousand inhabitants, “at least 500 people, including around twenty women and seven children, were executed by the Malian armed forces and foreign military personnel “. Inhabitants, it says in the text.

This report is based on an investigation by the human rights department of the Blue Helmet Mission (Minusma), which has been stationed in Mali since 2013, 157 individual interviews and eleven group interviews.

“espionage” and “military conspiracy”

In response, the Malian government said it was “surprised” to learn that the fact-finding mission had used satellites over Moura to obtain images “without permission and without the knowledge of the Malian authorities”. He called for an “immediate investigation” into “espionage, attack on the state’s external security” and “military conspiracy”.

The office also has “reasonable grounds to believe that 58 women and girls have been victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence.” It reports the torture of detainees. These acts could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said in a statement.

The report does not name the “foreign military personnel,” but recalls official Malian statements supporting Russian “instructors” in the fight against the jihadists and comments attributed to the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov, about the presence of the private Russian security company Wagner in Mali. The UN cites testimonies describing these foreigners as white men in work clothes, speaking an “unknown” language, and “supervising” the operations.

The existence of blue helmets is increasingly being questioned

The report tells of five days of fear following the arrival of Malian soldiers and their allies, equipped with five helicopters, late in the morning of March 27, at a time when a cattle fair had attracted thousands of civilians. Moura is believed to be a stronghold of the Katiba Macina, which is affiliated with the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), itself linked to al-Qaeda. About thirty members of the Katiba Macina mingled with the showmen and civilians.

A helicopter and men on the ground would have opened fire “indiscriminately” in the direction of the market if jihadists had reacted. 30 people, including a dozen jihadists, were killed. The Malian army reportedly took control of the area, arrested around 3,000 people and continued to comb the area over the following days.


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Malian soldiers and their allies “selected several hundred people who were summarily executed for at least four days,” mostly by shooting, the report said. According to the Malian junta, this anti-jihadist operation was “beneficial” to the local population and enabled “permanent disorganization” of the Katiba Macina.

Rights monitoring is part of Minusma’s mandate and its report contradicts the official narrative. This document comes at a very sensitive time in the ever-deteriorating relationship between the junta and Minusma.

“The interim government had warned against exploiting the Minusma and human rights with the intention of breaking the dynamic of the increase in power of Mali’s defense and security forces and opposing Mali’s strategic decisions,” it said in its statement on Saturday.

The renewal of Minusma’s mandate, which expires in June, must be examined in the coming weeks. With the junta’s impediments and the departure of several contributing countries, the mission faces more questions than ever about its ability to fulfill its mandate.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers In Mali, the Minusma blue helmets fear becoming “an instrument of the junta”.

The world with AFP