Massacres and summary executions: Mali singled out by a FIDH report

Massacres and summary executions: Mali singled out by a FIDH report

Photo credit, Getty Images

image caption,

A soldier points a gun at a man suspected of taking part in a foiled ‘terrorist’ attack, as he lies motionless on the ground after being beaten by a crowd, outside the military base in Kati, Mali, on 22 July 2022.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) unveiled this Thursday in Dakar, a report documenting the abuses committed by all parties to the conflict in Mali. Entitled “In the center of Mali, victims and executioners live together”, this 84-page document reports summary executions, massacres and collective rapes.

These abuses were committed as Mali was destabilized by a deadly 10-year conflict, following jihadist and separatist insurgencies.

The situation required French military interventions, Serval then Barkhane, which ended this year against a backdrop of tensions with the military junta that came to power after two coups in 2020 and 2021.

The junta has at its side paramilitaries from the Russian group Wagner, whose presence is still not recognized by the Malian authorities, to fight against jihadist groups.

According to the report, the state has stepped up military operations by the Malian armed forces (FAMa) and their Wagner partners, but the report also notes the involvement in the conflict of community self-defense militias and jihadist insurgents affiliated with the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (Gsim).

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Jihadist groups, self-defense militias, the Malian army and Wagner instructors are said to have engaged in sexual violence in the central regions of Mopti and Ségou, particularly affected by the increase in sexual violence described in the testimonies of numerous women collected between 2021 and 2022.

Other testimonies in the report describe the abuses committed by the FAMa and Wagner during the Moura massacre between March 27 and March 30, 2022.

Two mass graves, containing hundreds of bodies, were subsequently discovered.

For the Malian regime, those killed were all “terrorists”, while according to information collected by Fidh, only around thirty jihadists were killed during the massacre, and hundreds of civilians were executed.

According to FIDH, the population is on the front line of this spiral of violence and believes that to break this spiral, it is necessary to fight against impunity and recommends, in addition to ensuring security, to really fight against unemployment, which allows armed groups, particularly jihadists, to recruit.

The BBC correspondent in Mali tried to get the opinion of the Malian authorities but they did not want to comment on the subject.