The 78-page document, which was written by UN experts and delivered to the UN Security Council, is available to dpa. In it, he described the perpetrators as “white soldiers”. The group of Russian mercenaries Wagner, serving in the service of the Malian Military Council, was not directly named, but according to the information of the German news agency (dpa), there is no doubt that experts believe that the soldiers described by the witnesses are members of the Wagner. Not least because the type of rope used in the crime is known from Russian military stocks.
Since the last coup in May 2021, Mali, an unstable West African nation, has been ruled by a military junta that has close ties to Russia and has hired fighters from the Wagner mercenary group. In UN circles, Wagner is considered close to the Kremlin and her commitment to Mali is indisputable. Rising tensions with the government and the rise of extremist groups are increasingly hampering the deployment of the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA in the country. The German Army currently participates in Minusma with more than 1,000 soldiers.
The incident now presented in the UN report occurred in early March in central Mali on the border with Mauritania. In these two days, six positions in the area were attacked by Malian forces. “White soldiers” appeared near a fountain with good frequencies on the morning of March 5: “The soldiers arrested the men and the older boys, tied their hands behind their backs and blindfolded them.”
Then they were arrested in the center of the village and nearby houses were looted, according to witness testimonies. After that, the soldiers began beating the bound with heavy sticks, while other men closed the doors of the houses to the women and children inside. They could only hear the screams of the men being beaten.” 33 or 34 of them were kidnapped, including 29 Mauritanians and four Malians. A day later they were found shot and burned four kilometers away.
Similar looting occurred in other affected towns in the region. In two of them, the “white soldiers” initially landed by helicopter. However, witnesses were unable to identify any of the perpetrators.
According to the UN report, the insecure situation in Mali, where attacks have recently escalated in the capital, Bamako, has created a security vacuum that has made massive human rights violations possible. There is an alarming increase in civilian deaths. From January 1 to March 31 alone, 543 bystanders were killed. (SDA)
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