from RUDD KONTE in Bamako, Mali
BAMAKO, (CAJ News) – THE army and Islamist groups have allegedly killed at least 107 civilians in central and south-western Mali since December 2021.
According to Human Rights Watch (HRW) the victims include traders, village chiefs, religious leaders and children.
Most have allegedly been summarily executed.
“There has been a dramatic spike in the number of civilians, including suspects, killed by the Malian army and armed Islamist groups,” said Corinne Dufka, Sahel director at HRW.
“This complete disregard for human life, which includes apparent war crimes, should be investigated and those found to be implicated, appropriately punished.”
HRW has called on Mali’s transitional government to conduct credible and impartial criminal investigations into these alleged killings.
At least 71 of the killings were linked to government forces and 36 to armed Islamist groups.
HRW said both sides should end the abuses and ensure respect for the laws of war, which are applicable to Mali’s armed conflict.
Armed Islamist groups, separatist rebels, ethnic militias and government security forces have killed hundreds of civilians since Mali’s current armed conflict began a decade ago.
On March 4 the rebel groups 27 soldiers during an attack in the central Mondoro town.
The West African country suffered military coups in 2020 and 2021.
– CAJ News