Mali Junta Demands Investigation Into UN Mission for ‘Espionage’ Amid Massacre Allegations

…By Roland Peterson for TDPel Media. Mali’s junta has called for an investigation into the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission, accusing them of “espionage.”

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This request comes after a report revealed the alleged massacre of hundreds of people by Malian troops and their allies.

The public prosecutor’s office, in a statement shared on social media, announced that a specialized unit focusing on “terrorism and transnational crime” received a complaint from the state regarding members of the MINUSMA mission.

UN Report on Massacre in Moura

MINUSMA’s human rights division conducted an investigation into the events that took place in the central town of Moura between May 27-31, 2022.

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The report, released by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) last month, indicated that at least 500 individuals were executed by the Malian army and “foreign” fighters.

In the junta’s complaint, MINUSMA members were described as potential “co-authors or accomplices in crimes,” including espionage, harm to military morale, use of false documents, and threats to external state security.

Damning Report and Alleged Involvement of Foreign Fighters

The OHCHR report highlighted that the cited figures represent Mali’s worst atrocity since the onset of the jihadist insurgency in 2012.

It also stands as the most damning document against Mali’s armed forces and their allies.

Although the report did not explicitly identify the nationality of the foreign fighters, Mali has engaged Russian paramilitaries believed by Western countries and others to be Wagner mercenaries.

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The junta rejected the report as “fictitious” and asserted that the deceased were solely “terrorist fighters,” a term commonly used to refer to jihadists.

Espionage Allegations and Escalating Tensions

The junta accused the UN of employing satellite surveillance without government authorization, labeling it espionage and calling for an investigation.

This accusation further deepens the rift between the junta and MINUSMA, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.

Mali recently urged the UN Security Council to immediately withdraw the 15,000 peacekeepers, citing the mission’s failure to address security challenges.

The mandate of MINUSMA is set to expire on June 30.

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Mali’s Political Landscape and Alliances

Since 2020, Mali has been under military rule following the removal of its elected president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, by army officers dissatisfied with his handling of the jihadist insurgency.

The junta subsequently forged ties with the Kremlin, prompting France, Mali’s traditional ally, to withdraw its troops when Russian personnel entered the country.

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