Mali Opens Investigation Into Alleged Massacre In Moura

Mali said on Wednesday that military investigators had opened an investigation into events in the village of Moura, the site of an alleged massacre by local forces and foreign fighters.

Mali’s army announced on April 1 that it had killed 203 militants in Moura, in the centre of the Sahel nation, during an operation in late March.

However, that announcement followed widely shared social media reports of a civilian massacre in the area.

Human Rights Watch said this week that Malian forces and foreign fighters killed 300 civilians in Moura, in what it called “the worst single atrocity reported in Mali’s decade-long armed conflict”.

Malian forces were operating in tandem with white foreign soldiers, according to HRW, who are believed to be Russian because witness accounts refer to them as non-French-speaking.

Russia has supplied what are officially described as military instructors to Mali. However, the United States, France, and others, say the instructors are operatives from the Russian private-security firm Wagner.

On Wednesday, independent UN human rights expert Alioune Tine urged an independent and impartial investigation into the events.

In a statement, he called on the Malian authorities to allow the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, known as Minusma, to perform the investigation.

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