UN Mission In Mali Reports Rising Number Of Deaths


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AFP

Dakar: The number of people killed in Mali continued to increase in 2022, a UN report said on Wednesday, also linking more than a third of human rights violations to security forces.

The UN mission in Mali, MINUSMA, was created in 2013 to help stabilise the country as it battled jihadist insurgency.

On Wednesday, the mission published its quarterly note for human rights violations between October and December 2022, showing the security situation had only worsened.

The number of people killed grew to 1,277 in 2022 from 584 people killed in 2021, the UN body said in its report.

It recorded that 2,001 people were affected by acts of violence in the period, including those who were killed, and more than 370 people who were kidnapped or disappeared.

Jihadist groups are the main perpetrators of violence in the country and are responsible for 56 percent of recorded violations, the report said.

But MINUSMA also found that there were 694 human rights violations -- more than a third of recorded incidents -- that were attributable to the country's defence and security forces, sometimes together with foreign military personnel.

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Mali is ruled by a junta that last year forced France to remove troops deployed there a decade ago on an anti-jihadist mission.

In the absence of French troops, the junta wove closer ties with the Kremlin and brought in Russia's Wagner group to boost government forces.

Moura, in central Mali, was the site of what Human Rights Watch called a massacre of 300 civilians by Malian soldiers associated with foreign fighters in March 2022.

The Malian army denied responsibility and claimed to have killed more than 200 jihadists.

The junta in Bamako routinely claims that it is gaining the upper hand against the jihadists since it has pivoted to Russia.

In January, UN rights experts called for an immediate independent probe into abuses and possible war crimes committed in Mali by government forces and Wagner.

With more than 13,500 military personnel and police, the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali is one of the biggest and most dangerous of its kind.

The security and political crisis in Mali sparked by jihadists affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group has also spread to neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.

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