Mali Army Uncovers Mass Grave in Kidal

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Fighters for The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) hold up their flag in Kidal in August 2022. (Photo by SOULEYMANE AG ANARA / AFP)

DAKAR — The Malian army said at the weekend it discovered a mass grave in Kidal, a northeastern town recently recaptured from Tuareg rebels.
"This mass grave recalls the atrocities committed by these terrorists who have neither faith nor law," the army said in a statement late Saturday.

It said the discovery was made Thursday during "operations to secure Kidal," without providing further details.

The armed forces said it was carrying out investigations to "bring those responsible to justice."

On November 14, Mali's army retook Kidal, a Tuareg separatist stronghold that had not been under central government control since 2014.

The town was retaken after forces from the UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) left their camp in Kidal on October 31 as part of an agreement to withdraw from the country by the end of the year.

The army took power in Mali in a 2020 coup, and after months of worsening relations with MINUSMA, this June asked for their departure.

The withdrawal of some 11,600 UN soldiers and 1,500 police officers has exacerbated tensions in the north of the country, which is contested by the central government, Tuareg separatists, and Islamic militants.

The separatist groups are opposed to MINUSMA's camps being turned over to the Malian army, which they say goes against cease-fire accords reached in 2014 and 2015.

The conflict between the Tuareg groups and the army has resumed, with the separatists regularly accusing the army and their allies from the Russian mercenary group Wagner of committing abuses against civilians.

Source: AFP

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