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French-Backed Mali Army Accused of 'Summary Executions'

Common Dreams staff

Malian troops have closed off the town of Sevare and have started to move to central towns. (Photo: AFP)

Potentially dozens of Tauregs captured by the Mali Army, which has recently been joined by intervening French military forces in the west African nation, were 'summarily executed' and disposed of by soldiers because they were suspected of being members or supporters of the opposition groups fighting in the north of the country.

These reports come from human rights organizations with researchers on the ground in Mali and based on eyewitness accounts.

As Al-Jazeera reports:

Mali's army has sealed off a central town, and joined by other soldiers from the West African bloc, amid allegations that some of its soldiers had summarily executed dozens of people allegedly connected to rebel fighters.

The International Federation of Human Rights Leagues said on Thursday that in the central town of Sevare at least 11 people were executed in a military camp near a bus station and the town's hospital, citing evidence gathered by local researchers.

Credible reports also pointed to around 20 other people having been executed in the same area and the bodies having been dumped in wells or otherwise disposed of, the organisation said.

At Niono, also in the centre of the country, two Malian Tuaregs were executed by Malian soldiers, according to the FIDH.

The rights group, Human Rights Watch, said its investigators had spoken to witnesses who saw the executions of two Tuareg men in the village of Siribala, near Niono.

The group also said witnesses had reported "credible information" of soldiers sexually abusing women in a village near Sevare, and called on the government to urgently investigate these incidents, AFP news agency reported.


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