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Malian army, ‘white soldiers’ killed civilians, Mauritanians in March – UN Experts

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A team of United Nation experts has revealed that the Malian army and “white soldiers” were involved in the deaths of 33 civilians, including 29 Mauritanians and four Malians in Mali.

The accusation was made in a report by United Nations experts.

The revelation comes a day after it released exclusive about the ongoing Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Tension between neighbouring countries, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo was aroused again on Thursday as a United Nations group of experts said it has “solid evidence” that Rwandan troops have been fighting alongside the M23 rebel group.

In March, Africa News Watch reported that the foreign ministry of Mauritanian had accused Mali’s army of crimes against Mauritanians after protesters in the capital charged they had been killed “in cold blood”.

The alleged death of these civilians on 5 March in Robinet El Ataye, in the Segou region near the Mauritanian border, had caused a stir in Mali and Mauritania.

According to the report by the UN team, at 8.30am (local and GMT) on 5 March, “a group of white soldiers” arrived at Robinet El Ataye, a village with a well frequently used by Malian and Mauritanian herders seeking pasture.

The soldiers “rounded up the men, including teenagers, tied their hands behind their backs and blindfolded them.

“They were then herded into the middle of the village” while “the women and children were ordered to go home and not to look”, the Group said, adding that it was unable to visit the site but had collected several testimonies.

The deployed soldiers then “stripped the houses of all possessions, including bedding, mobile phones, jewellery, cooking utensils and clothes.

At 11am, “a group of FAMas”, the Malian Armed Forces, “arrived in the village”, the text continues. They “started beating the blindfolded men” using “the sticks used by shepherds on their flocks.

“The women”, locked in the houses, “could only hear the cries of the men who were being beaten”, the Group notes. The “FAMAS then freed some of the younger men, and took away 33 men, 29 Mauritanians and four Malians (Tuareg)”

Mauritania shares a 2,000-kilometre (1,200-mile) border with Mali, where the junta seized power in 2020.

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66-yr-old South African man sentenced to 18 years for forcefully marrying, raping 13-yr-old girl

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A 66-year-old South African man, Bheki Nxasana, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison by a Gqeberha High Court in the KwaZulu-Natal province, after he was found guilty of forcefully marrying and raping a 13-year-old disabled girl.

The court also sentenced Nxasana’s accomplices, Mxosheni Sibiya and Nomvo Nxasana, who is Nxasana’s sister, on charges relating to “child trafficking and forced marriage of a 13-year-old mildly mentally challenged girl.”

Court documents made available to journalists on Friday, reveals that Nxasana had forcefully married and raped the mentally disabled girl in connivance with Sibiya and Nomvo.

According to the the spokesperson of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Luxolo Tyali, the victim who is an orphan, was married off to Nxasana, in 2016, by one of her relatives.

“Evidence is that the victim was orphaned and lived with a relative in KwaDukuza in KwaZulu-Natal,” Tyali said.

“The relative gave her up to her Sunday school teacher who was friends with Nomvo, the sister of the would-be husband.

“Nomvo took her to her daughter who lived in Mbizana in the Eastern Cape, where Bheki, who worked in Gqeberha, comes from.”

The NPA spokesman said investigations showed that Bheki, with the assistance of Nomvo, initiated “lobola” (customary marriage) negotiations and dowry payments were made in 2016.

“Bheki took the teenager to his house where he allegedly strangled and raped her repeatedly in the name of marriage.”

“The teenager was made to dress in newly married woman’s (makoti) traditional attire and lived at Bheki’s homestead where she worked as a new bride.”

“She managed to escape after the matter was reported to the police in April 2017 and the suspect was arrested.

“During the trial, all the accused claimed that they were not aware of the girl’s age when they entered her into a customary marriage and were not aware that they were acting unlawfully,” Tyali added.

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Former Kenyan policeman, three others sentenced to death for murder of human rights lawyer

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A former Kenyan police officer, Frederick Leliman, alongside three accomplices, were on Friday, sentenced to death by a Nairobi High Court for the murder of a human rights lawyer, his client and a taxi driver.

Leliman and the three others were convicted of carrying out the murders in one of the most popular cases of police brutality and extrajudicial killings in the eastern African country.

The lawyer and activist, Willie Kimani, was representing a motorcycle taxi operator who had sued Leliman for shooting him at a traffic roadblock in 2016 at the time he was murdered.

The bodies of Kimani, the client Josephat Mwendwa and a taxi driver, Joseph Muiruri, were discovered in the Ol-Donyo Sabuk River, in the east of the country, days after they were reported missing.

Evidence produced in court showed that the three victims were abducted by a team led by Leliman after a court session on June 22, 2016, and were briefly locked up and later taken out and murdered in an open field.

While Leliman was given a death sentence, former police officers, Stephen Cheburet and Sylvia Wanjiku, received sentences of 30 and 24 years, respectively, while a police informant, Peter Ngugi, was jailed for 20 years.

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