What happened in Mora where the Malian army and Russian mercenaries killed hundreds?

International condemnations are mounting. After discovering a “massacre” In Mora, according to Human Rights Watch (in English)France said to herself ‘Very worried’Monday, April 4th, maybe “gross violations” It was committed by Malian soldiers in this village located in the center of Mali, “accompanied by mercenaries” From the Russian private collection Wagner. According to Quai d’Orsay, ‘Hundreds of civilians’ He would have been killed.

France calls for the rapid opening of national and international investigations to determine responsibility for these acts and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In a press release

This is so, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said on Saturday ‘Aware of the confrontations’ Between the Malian army and extremist groups and added to them ‘Very concerned about allegations of violence’ against civilians. the allegations “Very annoying”On Sunday, she had supported the US State Department, noting in turn the presence of Wagner. Franceinfo returns what we know about these violations.

Army claims to have killed ‘terrorists’

On Friday evening, the Malian army claimed that he had been killed “203 fighters” From “armed terrorist groups” during operation “big range” at Mora . regionbetween 23 and 31 March. It added that it had arrested 51 jihadists. this process Then, according to the Malian Army, “for specific information” On A meeting between the different battalions A term given to local jihadist groups, some of which are linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb or the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.

Since the beginning of the year, fighters from these battalions have been killed Dozens of members of the security forces. Mali, as Human Rights Watch recalls. The NGO also refers to Dramatic rise in killings of civilians and suspects since late 2021 By these jihadists, but also by Malian forces. According to Human Rights Watch, the military operation in Mora killed nearly 300 civilians some of them [étant] They are suspected of being Islamist fighters.” A story that is very different from the version of the Malian army.

Eyewitnesses reported executions of civilians

The events began on March 27 around 10 a.m., according to witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch. as pointed out Release, The Kateppa Massina fighters, affiliated with the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), usually go to the Mora cattle market every Sunday to get supplies and give sermons. 19 witnesses reported an initial exchange of fire between soldiers and armed Islamist fighters, resulting in the killing of a number of civilians. An eyewitness reported that a helicopter hovering over the market opened fire on residents who tried to flee.

Then the soldiers “He patrolled around the city and executed some of the men as they tried to escape and arrested several hundred unarmed men from the market or in their homes.”Human Rights Watch reports. According to eyewitnesses interviewed by the NGO, some of the detainees were known Islamist fighters, while others were residents of Mora and its surroundings.

The detainees were transferred to an area east of the village, and were held there until March 31. for four days, “He ordered the arrested soldiers, in groups of 4, 6 or even 10, to get up and walk several tens or even hundreds of metres. There, Malian and foreign soldiers summarily executed them.”says Human Rights Watch.

“The sounds of gunfire resounded in our village from Monday to Thursday,” he added.

from Mora

Quoted from Human Rights Watch

Several witnesses reported that people were executed on the basis of their appearance. “Many men were killed because the jihadists forced them to grow beards”Witness says. Others spoke of executions linked to the people’s ethnicity. According to one of the villagers: “It looks like the soldiers were targeting the Fulani.”

“OhN is talking about sieges, triage of unarmed individuals, a series of extrajudicial executions over a period of four days”Osman Diallo, a researcher at Amnesty International, based in Dakar, confirms. And this specialist in the Sahel region to evoke actions “Very methodical, which seemed planned.”

Hundreds of people died

“How can they say that no civilians were killed while in front of my door seven were executed, including three of my cousins ​​who are shepherds!” resident reaction to Release. Estimates received by Othman Diallo Report 150 to 500 deaths. “At least 200 to 300 people were killed”, The researcher believes, relying on a dozen words “Survivors and Local Resources”.

“We estimate that the vast majority of those executed, about 80%, were civilians.”

Othman Diallo, Researcher at Amnesty International

in franceinfo

“It is clear that the men were unarmed at the time of their execution.”And the Benedict Jeaniraud, France director of Human Rights Watch.

According to two witnesses quoted by the NGO, dozens of detainees were forced to dig three mass graves in Mora during the army’s operation. “Residents have explained that they had to bury their dead themselves in a chain, and speak of mass graves and charred bodies.”, also reports RFI. Testimonies collected by Human Rights Watch also relate to cases of theft “Jewelry, money, and other goods in the dwellings” Beside Dozens of dead people were burned. Empty houses looted Journalism Release.

According to the villagers interviewed by the newspaper, “Several young women were taken in the evening to a soldiers’ camp, where they were allegedly raped.” Human Rights Watch is still awaiting sufficiently reliable information in this regard. Othman Diallo, from Amnesty International, mentions Several secondary sources. after talking about Rape case in Mora. “But we have to do some supporting work.” About it, he says.

Reportedly, Russian militiamen participated

The Malian army is far from acting alone. according to “Several Safe Sources” In Human Rights WatchAnd the The operation was carried out in Mora More than 100 Russian soldiers participated in it.Together with Malian soldiers. A dealer interviewed by the NGO claimed to have seen “white soldiers”And the The Russians, he said, executed 19 men in four days. Eyewitnesses describe to us white soldiers who took part in the operations who they believe are Russians, also because of the authorities’ statements about the deployment of Russian “trainers” in Mali.confirms Bénédicte Jeannerod.

The European Union, the United States and France, among others, believe these soldiers are part of Wagner.

Benedict Gainerud, France director at Human Rights Watch

in franceinfo

Osman Diallo also removes any doubt about their existence: “againstThey are clearly members of the Wagner Group. This is what all the sources consulted have said. In mid-February, the French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, estimated the number of mercenaries from the Wagner Group present in Mali at about 1,000.

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