Malian soldiers in league with suspected Russian foreign fighters summarily executed 300 civilians, including some they suspected of being jihadists, in late March in a central Malian town, Human Rights Watch said. In a report published Tuesday, April 5, the NGO describes a massacre that took place over several days between March 27 and 31 in the town of Moura, between Mopti and Djenné, in a region that is one of the main hotbeds of Sahel violence. These events are « the worst episode of atrocities » committed since the outbreak of violence in Mali in 2012, the organization said, citing 27 people informed of the events, including 19 survivors and witnesses. No reaction to the report was initially obtained from the military-dominated authorities who took power by force in 2020.
United States and European Union concerned
As the messages multiplied on social networks, they gave on Friday a completely different version of the events in Moura, speaking of an operation that had allowed the killing of 203 members of « armed terrorist groups » and the arrest of 51 others. They denied « defamatory speculations ». But the U.N. Mission in Mali, the United States, the European Union and France have expressed concern about the information coming out of Moura. « The Malian government must urgently and impartially investigate these mass killings, including the role of foreign soldiers, » said Corinne Dufka, Sahel director at HRW. For the credibility of these investigations, the authorities should seek assistance from the African Union and the United Nations, she said.