Human Rights Watch says Mali and suspected Russian soldiers hanged 300 civilians in March

Malian soldiers briefly hanged 300 civilians associated with foreign militants believed to be Russians, some of whom were suspected. JihadistsIn a city in the center at the end of March PaysCondemns Human Rights Watch (HRW).

In a statement released on Tuesday, the NGO described a massacre that took place over several days between March 27 and 31, between Mopti and Digene, one of the main centers of violence. Sahelian.

Faced with the proliferation of testimonies reported by the press, Mali’s public servants spoke of “unsubstantiated allegations” aimed at “damaging the image” of the armed forces in a press release on Tuesday evening. Not to mention the HRW in particular, he reiterated that respect for rights is a “priority in conduct (conduct) activities” and “control against defamatory speculation”.

“The worst episode of atrocities” in Mali since 2012

The military supremacists who seized power in 2020 had already issued a version of their events on Friday, talking about an action that was allowed. To kill 203 members of armed terrorist groups A further 51 people were arrested.

But the UN embassy in Mali, the United States, the European Union and France have expressed concern over Maura’s statements. The HRW calls the events in Moura “the worst episode of atrocities” since the violence unleashed in Mali in 2012, in which 27 people, including 19 survivors and witnesses, reported the incident.

“The Malian government must urgently and impartially open an inquiry into these mass killings, including the role of foreign soldiers,” said Corinne Dufka, HRW’s Sahel director. He hopes that for the credibility of these investigations, the authorities will be assisted by the African Union and the United Nations.

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Some players will be Russians

HRW says the Moura events began on March 27 with the arrival of soldiers in helicopters in the middle of the livestock market. The troops then reportedly opened fire with about thirty armed Islamists in the crowd; Several Islamists, a few civilians and two foreign soldiers are said to have been killed.

With reinforcements carried by helicopters, Mali and foreign soldiers took control of Maura, describe the witnesses cited by HRW. Foreigners with white skin are integrated Russians Because they do not speak French and there has been a lot of talk in the media, including the authorities, about the arrival of Russian soldiers in recent months to help fight the jihadists.

Soldiers reportedly fought the city, “executing” many and capturing hundreds. In the days that followed, they shot dozens of prisoners in small groups, perhaps because of their dress or beard according to the rules laid down by the jihadists, or because of their race.

“Deliberately killing or abusing a detainee is a war crime,” says HRW. According to the HRW, civilians were forced to dig mass graves before being hanged. Some of the remains were burned beyond recognition, the NGO adds.

Identifying “deployments” and “terrorists”

In a statement issued Tuesday evening, staff said the army had attacked a group of “terrorists” who were fighting violently. Once Maura’s control was confirmed, the soldiers made an “effort” and identified “terrorists” lurking in the population, he said.

Employees are satisfied with referring to deaths in the military without further details. There is no mention of foreign players in it. But he said the operation involved four special forces teams and three Mi-17 (Soviet-designed) transport helicopters and two Mi-35 (Russian-made) combat helicopters and surveillance drones.

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