There have been shocking reports according to which a Malian military operation conducted last week involving Russian security forces has led to the death of a large number of innocent civilians. In a Malian army statement on the operation, there was no mention of any civilian casualties. This is contradicted, however, by statements that may have been made by eyewitnesses and that speak of the targeted killing of civilians.
We call on the Government of Mali to swiftly initiate an independent investigation of these severe accusations.
There can be no justification whatsoever for indiscriminate violence against civilians; moreover, it is anything but helpful in the fight against the terrorists and criminal gangs that are operating in the Sahel region.