News ID: 322020
Published: 0635 GMT May 31, 2022

UN: Over 500 killed in Mali clashes as military junta loses grip

UN: Over 500 killed in Mali clashes as military junta loses grip

Malian soldiers are pictured during a patrol near Niger border in Dansongo Circle, Mali, on August 23, 2021.

Over 500 civilians died in attacks carried out by armed forces and extremist groups in Mali from January to March this year, the United Nations said in a report that detailed a rapid unravelling of an already desperate security situation.

The killings represented a 324% rise over the previous quarter and highlighted the failure of Mali's military junta to limit human rights abuses or stop terrorist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and Daesh from carrying out campaigns of violence, Reuters reported.

Mali's military, which took power in a 2020 coup, did not respond to requests for comment.

"Malian Armed Forces, supported on certain occasions by foreign military elements, increased military operations to combat terrorism ... some of which sometimes ended in serious allegations of violations of human rights," The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said in the report.

MINUSMA documented 320 human rights violations by the Malian military in the January-March period, compared with 31 in the previous three months.

Mali has been hit by violence since 2012 when jihadists took over the north. France beat them back, but by 2015 they had regrouped and unleashed a wave of attacks in the centre. They have since spread into Niger and Burkina Faso, raising concerns of regional instability.




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