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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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UN peacekeeping mission to resume operations in Mali month after suspension

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Barely a month after the Malian junta suspended operations of UN peacekeeping troops on its soil, a spokesperson of the mission has confirmed that mission will resume again on Monday.

Malian authorities in a statement in July suspended all rotations of the military and police contingents of the United Nations Mission in Mali (UNMIS). The suspension was in continuation of its position of severing foreign relations, the suspension includes UN mission that are already scheduled.

The spokesperson said the mission and Malian authorities had agreed on a streamlined rotation procedure and that the mission’s request to resume rotations on Monday had been accepted.

Mali’s foreign ministry could not be immediately reached for comment.

Relations between Mali and troop-contributing countries remain strained. On Friday, Germany said it was suspending its military reconnaissance mission, which provides intelligence to MINUSMA, after Malian authorities withheld a flight clearance

Mali under the current Junta of Colonel Goita has been on a thread of breaking diplomatic relations with allies.

It started by breaking defense alliance with the French, the junta also quit the anti-jihadist force, G-5 force but has enjoyed good relationship with Russia.

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15 African migrants found dead in the Libyan-Sudan border desert

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At least 15 African migrants were found dead on Saturday in the desert on the Libyan borders with Sudan, with authorities saying the tragedy involved migrants seeking a better life in Europe while perilous journeys through the deserts and the Mediterranean Sea.

The discovery of the victims was made by the Libyan Department for Combating Irregular Migration, in the southeastern city of Kufra, which said the migrants were on their way from Sudan to Libya when their vehicle broke down due to lack of fuel.

The agency, in a statement, said nine other migrants survived while two remain missing in the desert.

It added that there were women and children among the migrants, but did not elaborate on how many they were.

It also did not reveal causes of the migrants’ death, but said they did not have enough food and water.

“All the migrants were Sudanese, from a country in turmoil for years. The migrants likely attempted to reach western Libya in efforts to board trafficking boats to Europe,” the department said on its Facebook page.

In June, the Libya authorities had also discovered bodies of 20 migrants in the sprawling Kufra desert who they said died of thirst after their vehicle broke down close to the border with Chad.

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