Over 500 People Killed By Foreign, Local Military in Mali - UN

A fact-finding report, released on Friday May 12, 2023, by the UN Human Rights Office has concluded there are strong indications that more than 500 people were killed - the vast majority summarily executed - by Malian troops and foreign military personnel during a five-day military operation in the village of Moura in the Mopti region of central Mali in March 2022.

According to witnesses, a military helicopter flew over the village, opening fire on people, while four other helicopters landed and troops disembarked. The soldiers corralled people into the centre of the village, shooting randomly at those trying to escape. Some Katiba Macina militants in the crowd fired back at the troops. At least 20 civilians and a dozen alleged members of Katiba Macina were killed.

The report is the result of an extensive human rights fact-finding mission conducted over several months by UN staff in Mali. Malian authorities denied requests by the team to access the village of Moura itself. The report is based on interviews with victims and witnesses, as well as forensic and other information sources, such as satellite imagery.

On Saturday May 13, 2023, Mali's military junta denounced the report as fictitious and biased. Agence France-Presse reports that a statement read on state television by government spokesperson colonel Abdoulaye Maiga said: "No civilian from Moura lost their life during the military operation. Among the dead, there were only terrorist fighters."


A view of Bamako, Mali with the Niger River in the background.

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