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Mali government questions 'credibility' of damning UN rights report

By AFP
Mali The UN mission in Mali said 1,277 people were killed there in 2022.  By FLORENT VERGNES (AFP)
THU, 23 MAR 2023 LISTEN
The UN mission in Mali said 1,277 people were killed there in 2022. By FLORENT VERGNES (AFP)

Malian authorities have questioned the "credibility" of a UN report that claimed a significant increase in the number of people killed in 2022 and blamed more than a third of human rights violations on the army.

Bamako said the report, published Wednesday by the UN's MINUSMA Mali mission, used "documents published by state and non-state organisations" and interviews conducted remotely to verify some of the details.

"This approach raises questions about the credibility of all the information gathered," it said.

MINUSMA said 1,277 people were killed in Mali in 2022, more than double the previous year's total of 584.

It also attributed 35 percent of human rights violations to security forces, which were "sometimes accompanied by foreign military personnel".

These figures do not include violations committed in Moura, where in late March 2022 there was what Human Rights Watch has described as a massacre of 300 civilians by Malian soldiers associated with foreign fighters.

The Malian army denies this and claims it eliminated over 200 jihadists.

A UN report on these alleged abuses has not yet been released.

Mali's junta in 2022 began working with what it calls Russian "instructors". Opponents say these are mercenaries from the Wagner group.

In February, the head of the UN mission's human rights division was expelled from Mali.

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