Mali: Mali denies killing of civilians by armed forces

Bamako, Mali (PANA) - Malian minister of Human Rights and State Reform KassoumTapo has rejected accusations by Human Rights Watch that the Malian armed forces committed mass killings of people in the northern and central areas of the country.

In a recent report, the human rights organisation accused the Malian armed forces of ‘extrajudicial killings’ and tortures and claimed the existence of mass graves in villages of the northern and central regions of Mali.

Speaking at  news conference on Wednesday in Bamako, the country's capital, Mr. Tapo said: "We shall respond to the report made by Human Right Watch. I won’t be the accomplice of anyone. The creation of a department dedicated to human rights is a strong political will from the president of the republic.

"The population in the said zones are not aware of the killings," he said, referring to the reported mass graves and urged Human Rights Watch to substantiate its allegations.

In order to confirm the allegations, the minister made a three-day visit, accompanied by a high-level delegation, to the central region of Mopti.

"There was no evidence of killing committed by the armed forces,"  the minister told the press on Tuesday during a brief on the mission he made. He warned that "the government will not tolerate any attack that aims to tarnish the image and morale of the armed forces."

According to Mr. Tapo, residents of the zones visited said that they neither received a Human Rights Watch representative nor witnessed a case of killing.

-0- PANA GT/JSG/MSA/AR 27Sept2017

27 september 2017 17:42:18

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