Malian army responsible for 101 extrajudicial killings at start of 2020 - UN report says

Malian soldiers carried out more than 100 extrajudicial killings in the first three months of 2020, according to a report published this week by UN human rights monitors. In total, 589 violations of human rights were documented in Mail between 1 January and 31 March, said the UN mission in Mali (Minusma).

The highest number of extrajudicial killings carried out by Malian security forces occurred in the Niono Circle, a subdivision in Ségou region, in the centre of Mali. 53 people were killed in the area as of 27 January.

The killings notably occurred after a jihadist attack on 26 January by those linked to the Nusrat al-Islam group that left some 20 gendarmes dead in Sokolo, in the same region.

The Malian army was responsible for 46 summary executions in Mondoro, in the Mopti region, near the border with Burkina Faso. There were 32 cases of torture, 32 forced disappearances, 101 executions and 116 arbitrary arrests attributed to the Malian forces, according to Minusma’s rights monitors. An overall increase compared to the end of 2019.

Nevertheless, the Malian security forces were not the only ones responsible for rights abuses, according to the UN. Niger’s security forces have been accused of 34 extrajudicial killings on Malian soil near the border with Niger.

An increase of the number of attacks by armed groups in the centre and north of Mali could perhaps explain the increase in rights violations, according to Guillaume Ngefa, head of Minusma’s human rights division.

Reprisal attacks between ethnic Fulani and Dogon people have become more and more frequent, as well as the involvement of Malian security forces in extrajudicial killings and forced or involuntary disappearances, Ngefa told RFI’s Service Afrique.

The G5 Sahel force of Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad was also responsible for 18 summary executions, according to Minusma.