A United Nations report has revealed Civilian deaths and rights abuses attributable to the Malian armed forces and backed by “foreign military elements” with the killings seeing a 324 percent rise during the previous quarter.
“Malian Armed Forces, supported on certain occasions by foreign military elements, increased military operations to combat terrorism … some of which sometimes ended in serious allegations of violations of human rights,” the UN’s Malian mission, known as MINUSMA, said in the report released on Monday.
The report did not identify the “foreign military elements” supporting the army.
The total number of people killed in the first quarter of 2022 by all parties in the conflict – rebels, self-defense groups, and security forces – quadrupled during the last three months of 2021, rising from 128 to 543.
A total of 248 civilian deaths were attributable to the defense and security forces, the report said.
MINUSMA documented 320 human rights violations by the Malian military in the January-March period, compared with 31 in the previous three months.
The report comes just as Mali cut ties with former colonial power France and as Wagner Group, a Russian private military contractor, was roped in to help the government fight an armed rebellion.