According to Human Rights Watch, between October and March, at least 34 civilians were killed by soldiers. The military judge handled the case and began a slow march of impunity.
The report embarrassed the Malian army and the authorities. Human Rights Watch, Tuesday, April 20 (HRW) has launched a series of new charges against Malian soldiers, who have been frequently implicated since the outbreak of the war in 2012, but have rarely been punished. According to a report by a human rights NGO, soldiers killed at least 34 villagers and left at least 16 people missing during the anti-terrorist operation in Mopti from October to March.
In recent years, the central region of Mali has become the center of insecurity in this Sahelian country, and the jihadists have seen them expand their control and decline to the south. In the face of them, the Malian army lacks everything (money, equipment, training), the losses are getting bigger and bigger, and it is unable to achieve real victory on the ground. Under such circumstances, soldiers’ atrocities against civilians are increasing. According to the NGO Armed Conflict Sites and Incident Data Project (Acled), security forces killed 535 civilians in Mali from 2017 to 2020. The accumulating testimony of the citizens is chilling.
“The soldiers took these people to an abandoned shop… [militaire] The person occupying the position at the entrance opened fire. They lay there, dying of blood baptism,” A resident of Libé told HRW. On October 22, this village in the circle of Bancasas will become the target of his own army, and then conduct a counter-terrorism operation. “They killed people while running. Some were executed at close range, others were crushed by military vehicles, and others burned alive in their houses.” A witness cited in the report said. The survivors said that they buried 24 people in ten tombs. Among them, three women and two children.
When publicly condemning the case, the authorities protested “Propaganda”, “Terrorist Trademark” “The sole purpose is to destroy the morale of FAMA [forces armées maliennes] », According to a military statement issued in October, the statement promised to prosecute the perpetrators. “False accusations”. Since then, the authorities have revised its copy, leaving more room for doubt. “The judgment made will make it possible for people to say whether there was an error”, The press and public relations director of the armed forces, Colonel Souleymane Dembélé, was highlighted. According to him, a lawsuit has been filed and the soldiers’ voices have been heard.
On the ground, the gendarmerie is said to be investigating the seven suspected abuse cases in the Human Rights Watch report. But in Libe, the families of the victims said they have not yet contacted them.
For Corinne Dufka, Director of Human Rights Watch in the Sahel “The promise to investigate abuse is a positive step, but the Malian government has failed to abide by many such promises.” Between 2016 and 2018, the authorities (overthrown in the August 2020 coup) announced that they had launched seven investigations against members of the defense and security forces accused of killing more than 100 civilians. But only one of the discoveries was made public. It involves the discovery of a mass grave containing seven bodies in Socorro (Central). The soldier was accused.Briefly, the government then concluded that the seven buried people had been killed “During the fighting in the area”.
According to Acreed, in central Mali, jihadists, especially Islamic and Muslim support organizations (GSIM), have links with the Katiba of the Fulani missionary Amadou Koufa (Amadou Koufa). One of its leaders is killing more and more soldiers-between October and April, about 60 soldiers were killed. . Allegedly, the abuse by the security forces continues. According to the same source, about fifty citizens of the area were killed by soldiers who were supposed to protect them from the enemy who was responsible for the deaths of 90 civilians between October and April.
In the course of the atrocities, the villagers lost the little confidence that they had in a country where almost no one was present, and believed that predatory was more predatory than protective. “Irture and impunity are pushing more and more Malians into the arms of jihadists. This is one of the main arguments they use to recruit. Emphasizes Corinne Dufka.
According to reports, on January 11, Boukary and Mamadou were panicked when they saw a military escort passing by in Sokoura village. Boukary started running and climbed up a big tree. The soldiers chased him and opened fire on him. Bukori fell and died, like a bird.”An eyewitness interviewed by Human Rights Watch said. According to reports, his body was thrown into a military vehicle. According to reports, Mamadou was taken aboard by soldiers. Two witnesses later said that they had seen their bodies outside the National Guard camp. “Witnesses determined that a man’s hands were tied behind his back, his head was bleeding, and part of it was crushed.”, The report said.
On March 18, a group of soldiers became victims in an improvised explosive device in Pawnee. In an area increasingly occupied by almost invisible enemies, there is another person. Identification: one dead and one injured. Driving Boucary and Salmane behind them was ordered to stop.They were originally “Perform at close range” By the soldiers, no questions were asked-they were considered guilty.The family of the two men in their thirties arrived at the body to bury it, and they claimed to be “Beaten” Deprived by soldiers. “They stole our phone, eight motorcycles and money”, Tells about one of them.
“Perpetrators who violate the laws of war can be prosecuted for war crimes”, Emphasize the report.The Mali International Commission of Inquiry, established by the United Nations in 2018, estimated in June 2020 that it had collected “There are reasonable reasons to believe” The army has “War Crimes Committed” Between 2012 and 2018. In its 350-page report, the methods described (torture, enforced disappearance, summary execution) are the same as those detailed in the Human Rights Watch report.
“In Mali, most terrorists are not foreigners. These are the Malians who the military meets every day. Soldiers have a hard time distinguishing between terrorists and non-terrorists. In the morning, some people are jihadists, they attacked FAMA, and in the evening they changed. Become an ordinary citizen, and then return to the village to sleep peacefully. It will produce amalgam”, Acknowledge Colonel Dembele.
According to the latest UN report on the situation in Mali, since the beginning of this year, at least ten legal procedures have been initiated by the military justice department. The Army Communications Bureau said that some officers, noncommissioned officers and noncommissioned officers are waiting for their trial. But for now, the only judgment established by the military court in 2020 involves infringement cases.