Mali Army Accused of Civilian Killings, Disappearances

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said that Mali soldiers have allegedly killed at least 34 villagers, caused the disappearance of 16 people, and severely mistreated detainees during counter-terrorism operations in the country's central Mopti region. The government said it had opened investigations into incidents in the towns of Libé and Kobou, but family members of victims told HRW that the authorities have not contacted them. Mali security forces allegedly committed the abuses during military operations in response to the presence of Islamist armed groups largely linked to Al-Qaeda. Witnesses described how on March 23, 2021 soldiers in Boni detained, blindfolded, and severely beat dozens of bus passengers after finding suspicious material in a baggage compartment. At least 13 of the passengers have "disappeared."

InFocus

Mali soldier at the international conference center in Bamako (file photo).

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