from RUDD KONTE in Bamako, Mali
BAMAKO, (CAJ News) – THE Centre for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) has condemned the recent killing of 132 civilians in central Mali.
The skirmishes were reported in the Bankass area over the weekend.
Mali’s transitional government blamed armed opposition groups (AOGs) in several towns.
According to media reports, the attackers also burnt huts, houses and stole cattle.
William Meeker, CIVIC’s Director for Africa, said with the increase of military operations in recent months, civilians were being massacred in what appear to be retaliatory attacks.
“This is a truly alarming trend,” he said.
“Civilians in Mali face violence from all sides,” Meeker said.
Civilians bear the brunt of the conflict in the Sahel region.
“Widespread and systematic attacks against civilians must stop,” Meeker said.
He called on Malian authorities to protect civilians from attacks and AOGs to never target civilians.
Mali, a West African country of over 21 million people, is enduring an Islamist insurgency and a series of military coups.
Colonel Assimi Goïta has served as interim president since May 2021.
– CAJ News