Armed Groups Committing Atrocities in Mali: HRW


Al-Qaeda-linked and warring ethnically based armed groups are committing atrocities in Mali, Human Rights Watch reports.

The watchdog said in a report released on May 8 that fighters from Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wa al-Muslimeen and Dozo militia killed 45 people in separate attacks on villages in Central Mali in January. Mali has been plagued by such groups since 2015, but late last year, its transitional government ejected a UN peacekeeping mission.

The attacks, which occurred amid recurrent tit-for-tat killings and communal violence in central Mali, violate international humanitarian law and are apparent war crimes, HRW stressed.

Groups aligned with al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) have operated in Mali since 2015, seizing territory and making swaths of the country ungovernable. A military government seized power in 2021, promising to tackle insecurity, but attacks remain rife. The military itself faces several accusations of rights abuses.

HRW said authorities are failing to adequately investigate incidents implicating members of armed groups or ethnic militias.

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