Last updated on April 12th, 2022 at 08:00 am
Russia has blocked a UN Security Council request for independent inquiries into the alleged Moura massacre in Mali. France made the request in a statement that was submitted to the Security Council for approval on Friday. According to some diplomats, Russia, backed by China, rejected it.
According to one of these officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Moscow and Beijing “did not see the need” for this letter, which they regarded as “premature” while the Malian authorities were conducting an investigation. The proposed statement to the UN Security Council emphasised the importance of the “deep concern” of its members “about claims of human rights violations and abuses in Mali, particularly against civilians in Moura, in the Mopti region, from March 27 to March 31, 2022.”
According to the proposed language, “thorough and impartial investigations to establish the facts, identify the perpetrators of these crimes and abuses, and bring them to justice.” The Russian Foreign Ministry congratulated Mali on an “important victory” against “terrorism” in a statement released Friday in Moscow, and dismissed allegations of Malian forces slaughtering civilians, as well as allegations that Russian mercenaries from the private company Wagner were involved in the operation, as “disinformation.”
Between March 27 and March 31, Malian forces connected with foreign fighters executed 300 civilians in Moura, according to a report by the NGO Human Rights Watch. Malian authorities claim to have “neutralised” 203 militants in the central Malian town where the UN has been requesting access to investigate under a Security Council mandate for more than a week.