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Press briefing notes Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

UN Human Rights chief appalled by alleged summary executions in Mali

01 February 2024

I am appalled by credible allegations that Malian armed forces accompanied by foreign military personnel summarily executed at least 25 people in Welingara village, in the central Nara region on 26 January. I am also alarmed by reports that about 30 civilians were killed in attacks by yet unidentified gunmen on two other villages – Ogota and Oimbe – in the Bandiagara region over this past weekend.

It is essential that all allegations of arbitrary deprivations of life, including summary executions, are fully and impartially investigated and those found responsible brought to justice in trials observing international standards. The Malian authorities must also ensure that their troops, as well as their agents or allies, respect international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including by taking all feasible steps to ensure the protection of civilians. Violence against civilians, as well as persons hors de combat, is strictly prohibited.

My Office has recently corroborated two other killings by members of the Malian armed forces and allied foreign military personnel in which at least 31 civilians lost their lives. On 24 September 2023, 14 herders were allegedly executed in Ndoupa, in the Segou region, and on 5 October, 17 other civilians were reportedly executed in Ersane village, in the Gao region. We are not aware of any investigations by the authorities into these alleged killings.

For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva
Liz Throssell - + 41 22 917 9296 / [email protected]

In Nairobi
Seif Magango - +254 788 343 897 / [email protected]

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