Guterres ‘shocked and outraged’ by reports of civilian massacres — Global Issues

Over the weekend, at least 100 civilians were said to have died when rebel militias attacked several villages in the Bandiagara region, near Mopti.

According to a statement released earlier this week by the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA, several houses and shops were set on fire, and the attacks “also led to the forced displacement of several hundred civilians”.

Dozens of others were killed in other attacks by extremists in the northeast, in the Gao region.

Many affected regions

UN Chief António Guterres said in a statement released by his spokesman that he was “equally shocked” by the reported loss of life at the scene, as well as the “high loss of life and livelihood in other regions of the country, as well asincluding in Ménaka, where tens of thousands of people have been displaced in recent weeks”.

Mali and the entire central Sahel region have faced a spike in violence against civilians by armed extremists in recent months – an issue that has plagued the nation for years, stemming from 2012, when Islamist rebels took control of the north and center, before government forces supported him. international support, repressed the coup attempt.

Extremist violence has spread to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger, destabilizing border regions and, according to news reports, in recent weeks rebels have blocked the road between the northern city of Gao and Mopti in the south.

deep condolences

The Secretary-General expressed his deep condolences to the families of victims of the recent massacres, as well as to the people of Mali.

“He condemns these attacks in the strongest terms and asks the Malian authorities to investigate them quickly and bring the perpetrators to justice,” the statement read.

The Secretary-General appealed to Mali’s military leadership “to redouble its efforts to restore peace and stability” across the country, and reiterates the readiness of the UN stabilization mission MINUSMA to support its efforts.

In its statement on Tuesday, MINUSMA said it was joining the grieving nation once again, but would waste no time in putting together a “preliminary mission” to help regional authorities deal with the aftermath of the violence, leg for a integrated team of the Mission, dispatched from Mopti.

MINUSMA undertakes to respond

Other concrete measures are planned to support the efforts of the Malian authorities to help the population and strengthen its security.,” said MINUSMA.

“More broadly, the Mission will continue its efforts to help stabilize central Mali, which is one of its strategic priorities.”

MINUSMA said that specific measures would be taken to address the resurgence of violence against civilians in the Gao region.

“These will be a continuation of the action” that began several weeks ago after extremist groups killed dozens in the Asongo district of the Gao region, allegedly in retaliation for the arrest of some rebel leaders.

In line with its human rights mandate, MINUSMA said it would investigate the precise circumstances of the recent attacks. “This will support the relevant Malian authorities in their efforts to identify and bring perpetrators to justice. of these heinous acts.”

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