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Conflicts: Mali: UN report suggests massacres by Russian mercenaries

Mali: UN report suggests massacre by Russian mercenaries

View of the Malian city of Gao from a French military helicopter.  Photo: Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA POOL/AP/dpa

View of the Malian city of Gao from a French military helicopter. photo

© Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA POOL/AP/dpa

Around 1,000 German soldiers are supposed to ensure peace for the UN in Mali, but the situation there is getting worse and worse. This is also described in a confidential UN report – with gruesome details.

According to a confidential UN report, soldiers are in the crisis state on behalf of the Malian government mali apparently massacred more than 30 civilians. The 78-page document, written by experts from the United Nations and handed over to the UN Security Council, is available to the German Press Agency.

In it, the perpetrators are described as “white soldiers”. Those in the service of the Malian military junta The standing Russian mercenary group Wagner is not named directly, but according to dpa information there is no doubt that the experts consider the soldiers described by witnesses to be members of Wagner. Not least because the type of rope used in the crime is known from Russian military stocks.

proximity to Kremlin

Since the most recent coup in May 2021, the highly unstable West African country of Mali has been governed by a military junta that has close ties to Russia and has hired fighters from the Wagner mercenary group. In U.N.circles, Wagner is close to the Kremlin and her commitment in Mali is undisputed. Growing tensions with the government and growing extremist groups are increasingly hampering the deployment of the UN peacekeeping mission Minusma in the country. The Bundeswehr is currently involved in Minusma with more than 1000 soldiers.

The incident now presented in the UN report took place in early March in central Mali on the border with Mauritania. On these two days, six locations in the region were attacked by Malian forces. The “white soldiers” appeared near a well-frequented fountain on the morning of March 5: “The soldiers drove them men and older boys together, tying their hands behind their backs and blindfolding them.”

They were then rounded up in the village center and the surrounding houses were looted, according to witness statements. After that, the soldiers began beating those tied up with heavy sticks, while other men blocked the doors of the houses for the women and children inside. “They could only hear the screams of the men as they were beaten.” 33 or 34 of them, including 29 Mauritanians and four Malians, were abducted. They were found shot and burned four kilometers away a day later.

Perpetrator not identified

Similar looting also took place in the other affected towns in the region. “White soldiers” first landed on two of them with a helicopter. However, the witnesses could not have identified any of the perpetrators.

According to the UN report, the volatile situation in Mali, where attacks in the capital Bamako have recently increased, has created a security vacuum that has made serious human rights violations possible. There is an alarming increase in civilian deaths. From January 1st to March 31st alone, 543 bystanders were killed.


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