Since January, testimonies of victims of abuses by the Malian army and its Russian aides have been piling up on the offices of journalists, human rights defenders and activists, without the scale of the disaster being quantifiable. Going forward, Minusma’s numbers give a more accurate idea of the explosion of violence that Mali has been experiencing since the start of the year.
Between January 1 and March 31, 2022, the death toll in Mali jumped by 324%. Violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law increased by 151%, according to an analysis by the United Nations Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in its quarterly note. This fifteen-page report was published on Monday, May 30, and details the security incidents and those responsible for them.
Half of the violations are committed by jihadist groups, the Malian Armed Forces (Fama) play a leading role in the massive increase in extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, torture and arbitrary arrests. According to UN investigators, Alfama is responsible for 320 human rights violations, an increase of 932% compared to the previous quarter, when Russian mercenaries had not yet accompanied Malian soldiers.
In all, 812 civilians (543 killed, 107 kidnapped or disappeared, 107 wounded and 55 unlawfully detained) were targeted for violence during the first three months of the year. Mali’s security and defense forces killed 248 civilians, including 18 women and 6 children. “The majority of the victims of these violations are from the Fulani sect.”The note says.
Based on the methodology of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in terms of “Gathering Evidence and Information” In addition to numerous testimonies, Minusma referred to more than a dozen incidents in which the Malian army was involved. These occurred largely in the center of the country, during the extensive Operation Kélétigui, which targeted jihadist groups.
An operation that has already revealed itself to the public during the attack on the village of Mora. According to Minusma, this mission, which caused between 200 to 500 deaths, was marred by several people Information and allegations. Targeting financial security forces that, Accompanied by foreign military personnel, they allegedly carried out summary executions and numerous other human rights abuses..
Russian financial partnership
These events are now the subject of a United Nations investigation. But the memo specifies that despite the request for access to the village, which was submitted on April 1, the financial authorities have not yet allowed Minusma to go there.
This note also contradicts the official speech of Bamako, which since the beginning of the year has not stopped striking “Rise of the Force” for the financial army. Despite the intensification of military operations, the security situation has deteriorated throughout the territory. In the east, fighting between signatory groups and ISIS jihadists left hundreds and displaced thousands. Central Mali continues Dealing with a multidimensional crisis.
In the north, in Timbuktu, there ‘Strengthening the presence jenim »Al-Qaeda-linked group. Kidnappings are increasing in the Menaka region, where 52 Mauritanian civilians were killed in the border region, which angered Nouakchott. In the middle are several events bearing the hallmarks of this new Russian financial partnership.
Providing security services
If the report never mentions the Russian paramilitary company Wagner – the editors prefer to talk about it “foreign military personnel” – Guillaume Negeva, Director of MINUSMA’s Division for Human Rights and Protection, specifies that this is “Current partner forces of the Malian army”. However, since the beginning of the year, after the announcement of the French withdrawal and the suspension of European training missions, the Russians became Mali’s only military partners.
According to the transitional authorities, at the head of the country since the August 2020 coup, it will only be a matter“coaches”Supplied under a defense agreement with Moscow. A version contested even by Russian power. On May 1, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed in an interview on Italian TV that Wagner is under contract with the Malian government to provide security services.. Today these mercenaries will be a thousand in the country.
While the financial authorities confirmed that it has “Opening several investigations into grave violations of international law and human rights.”Minusma indicates that at the date of publication of this note, it has not been received “There is no information on the progress of these investigations mentioned above“.