from RUDD KONTE in Bamako, Mali
BAMAKO, (CAJ News) – THE United Nations mission in Mali is investigating the spate of deadly attacks by armed groups in central Mali.
These have left more than 20 people dead in some villages in the Mopti region.
Last Thursday, a radical armed group attacked the village of Kani Bozon. The attackers used automatic weapons and explosives, burned down houses, destroyed granaries and stole livestock.
The official death toll is 13 but local sources report at least 20 dead among women, elderly, children and men, and several wounded.
The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) condemned the attack and announced an investigation, which it stated was part of its mandate to promote and protect human rights.
On Saturday, another attack by radical armed groups on the village of Tabagolo in the same area killed at least two people.
As of this past weekend, large population movements of some 3 000 persons have been reported in the area of Bankass, mainly women and children.
This adds to the already 189 000 internally displaced people in the Mopti region, over 412 000 at country level.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) noted that in 2022, the humanitarian situation in Mali remained worrying characterised by armed conflict, human rights violations, including grave violations of children’s rights, climate hazards, a measles epidemic as well as the prevalence of food insecurity and malnutrition.
Over 7,5 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance including 5,1 million children.
The West African country is on the throes of insurgency by Islamists. MINUSMA was deployed in 2013. Radicals have killed some 298 peacekeepers as of January 31 in 2023.
– CAJ News