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As international concern grows over the scale of the alleged massacre committed at the end of March in Moura, a locality in central Mali, by the army and paramilitaries identified as belonging to the Russian Wagner Group, several Malian press titles competed on Monday April 4, praise for the action of the soldiers. “Moura, brilliant victory for the army”applauded on the front page of the daily The Riseonly regretting that this “success” that is “sabotaged” by “a whole fauna of pseudo-specialists in the Sahel and alleged defenders of human rights”qualified as“objective allies of terrorist groups”, “highlighting the losses among the civilian populations ” for “tarnish the image of the army”. 1er April, an army statement announcing the death of “203 fighters from armed terrorist groups” in the operation had warned against all « defamatory speculation against the FAMA [Forces armées maliennes]».
All sources, local and international, contacted by The world accuse, on the contrary, the FAMA and combatants linked to the Russian group Wagner, which has deployed in Mali since December nearly a thousand men, according to Western sources, of having killed ” without distinction “ during the blockade imposed on Moura from March 27 to 31. The area has been controlled for years by the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), affiliated with Al-Qaeda, and the massacre is said to have started on Sunday, market day, when the jihadists mingle with civilian populations. In a report published on April 5, the NGO Human Rights Watch estimates that“about 300 civilian men, some suspected of being Islamist fighters”have been “summarily executed” by the FAMA and their auxiliaries “strangers” during this incident, described by the NGO as “worst atrocity” reported since the start of the war in northern Mali in 2012.
“Pressures” from the junta
In Bamako, neither the Malian Association for Human Rights (AMDH) nor Tabital Pulaaku, the main association for the defense of the Fulani community, from which most of the victims are said to have come, have so far officially condemned this massacre. . Since the coup d’etat of May 2021, which came to consolidate the power of the soldiers who have controlled the country since their first putsch in August 2020, several human rights defenders have told the World to have suffered “pressures of the junta aimed at silencing them. Just like some officials of the Malian press.
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