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The Daily Beast

UN Report: French Airstrikes Kill 19 Civilian Wedding Receptions-Mali Participants

MINUSMAOUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — From above, the photo shows a mass grave covered with burnt land and dry tree branches in the middle of the desert. People living around Bounti, a village in central Mali, said they had been killed and were buried by a French airstrike. On the ground there was an image of scattered flip-flops. An empty hoodie with one arm extended. Broken metal teapots and debris (some of which are specified by serial number) are placed next to bright yellow evidence markers and metal rulers. This is evidence of the photographs contained in the 36-page report just released by the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Mali. Known as Minusuma, he confirmed that French troops had a wedding on January 3rd this week, celebrating 100 people and killing 22 people, 19 of whom died on the scene. Investigations revealed that three of the dead were suspected of belonging to Katiba Macina, an Islamic extremist group operating in the area, and three died on the way to seeking medical assistance. did. Mali’s ongoing conflict and peacekeeping mission are bound by Security Council resolutions to investigate and document allegations of human rights abuses and abuses throughout Mali. This includes all violations related to international forces, including Operation Barkhane in France, the Minusma Peacekeeping Force, the G5-Sahel Army, and the domestic army during cross-border military operations. All breaches are to be documented and published in Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ quarterly report. However, it is unusual for the United Nations to publish this new report shortly after its publication, especially as it is directly related to France, a permanent member of the Security Council. A report recommending that French and Marian authorities “thoroughly investigate the processes and precautions taken in preparation for such strikes” in order to “conduct an investigation into possible violations of international humanitarian law and human rights.” Said. Victim. The French military ministry, which is in charge of Operation Barkhane, a powerful anti-armed force campaign of 5,000 people based in Chad in the Sahel region, claims that the airstrikes targeted only militants. In addition, according to a statement on the ministry’s website released on the same day the report was published, the French were of the “methodology” and findings of the Minusma report, as well as “unverifiable” local witnesses. He expressed concern about the use of testimony. The source on which this report is based comes from local testimony. ” “They are never transcribed and the witnesses are never identified, because the conditions of these testimonies are met. Therefore, under the influence of the jihadist group (including threats). It is impossible to distinguish reliable sources from possible terrorist sympathizers and individuals. “The bombing respects the laws of armed conflict, he added. The January 3 airstrike investigation was conducted by the Human Rights Division of Minusma for almost three months. The team consists of 15 experts in the department and two forensic police on a mission that visited the scene in late February. According to the report, the team conducted 115 interviews with individuals, spoke with at least 200 people in the group, and analyzed 150 publications, official communiqués, official declarations, and photographic evidence. Among the interviewees were seven male civilians who were injured in the attack on the village. Its inhabitants are the Fula, an ethnic group of herders who live throughout the Sahel. The wedding took place in a semi-forest area under a jagged stretch of red cliffs that was part of the magnificent landscape of the Mopti region, which once attracted thousands of foreign tourists. The Fulani are complaining about ethnic profiling in anti-terrorism operations in the Sahel region, especially as they are targeted by Mali security forces. According to a January 6 report by independent regional news site Sahelien.com, Bounti villagers said of the French attack: A woman among the victims because this is a zone held by jihadists. They do not allow men to get together with women for a wedding. So the group of women celebrated 300 meters away. Villagers respect the instructions of the jihadists to avoid retaliation. Only groups of men and teenagers were targeted, but the groom is alive. The strike infuriated the villagers and urged local and international groups to investigate, including local representatives working at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. For Human Rights Watch, a human rights and non-governmental organization. “The UN investigation into France’s airstrikes on Bounty raises serious concerns that the attack was illegally disproportionate. Human Rights Watch researcher Jonathan Pedne emailed Passblue. The report highlighted the increase in terrorist attacks caused by jihadist groups such as Jamaa Nusrat al Islamic War Muslimen (JNIM).) And the Great Sahel near Duenza, where Bounty is located. The Islamic State targeted Minusuma troops and killed Marian and French troops at the end of last year. The French bombing in Bounty was carried out by Operation Barhan, G5 Sahel and Mali from January 2 to 20. It was part of a joint anti-terrorism operation called the Nikko. The bombing on January 3 occurred days after the deaths of five French soldiers in Mali. It was announced shortly after media reports that French troops had killed six civilians in an airstrike in Gao, northeastern Mali. Allegations and confirmations of this year’s French attack began in 2012. Since then, it has occurred after the publication of a 336-page report by the United Nations International Investigation Commission, which documented abuse in all aspects of the Mali conflict. Occupied a city in northern Mali. A commission mandated by the 2015 Mali Alger Peace Agreement documented abuse by all parties involved in the conflict, with widespread human rights infringement committed by the Mali army. , French troops killed civilians in airstrikes. The report also reported that French troops participated in anti-terrorism operations with Marian troops accused of committing serious human rights violations and abuses such as recruiting boy soldiers. Raised a question about France’s cooperation with armed militia accused of committing a crime. It was submitted to the Security Council of 15 members in mid-December 2020 and announced a few months later. The council members said they were waiting for a response from the Mali government, which UN investigators identified as a major infringer, so the council still acted on recommendations such as the establishment of referees. Apparently, only one country in the council, which is an elected member, raised this issue regarding accountability for the findings of the report. M. Mahamat Sale, Head of Minusma. h Annadif welcomed reports, missions, and other important global agencies. Over the years, the Red Cross’s International Commission and others have remained largely silent on the number of civilian casualties allegedly caused by the French airstrikes in Mali. France refused to answer questions related to the UN Investigation Commission’s report on the French military. The nature of cooperation with the Malian Armed Forces in 2017 and 2018, especially with the Malian Army during Operation Serval in 2013. In February, PassBlue asked the military ministry whether to keep records of civilians killed during the airstrikes in the Sahel. , A spokesperson wrote in an email: “Such incidents rarely occur, but all civilian casualties have been declared internationally. The Red Cross Commission is not in a position to provide any further information about this. Transparency. To ensure, we leave it to authorized international authorities to declare the number of civilian casualties. Sign up now! DailyBeast Membership: Beast Inside is about a story that matters to you. Dig deeper. Learn more.

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