Timbuktu: United Nations Special Adviser on the prevention of genocide, Adama Dieng, expressed his concern on Saturday and reportedly said that he was “deeply disturbed” after reports of retaliatory attacks by Malian troops emerged.
As per BBC report, Dieng said that Malian Army has been allegedly recruiting proxy militia groups to kill Arabs and ethnic Tuaregs. “It could constitute atrocity crimes,” a statement issued by Dieng stated, as per report.
The reports come amidst visit of French President Francois Hollande’s, along with his foreign and defence ministers, to Mali on Saturday. As part of his trip, Hollande will visit Timbuktu, recently seized by Malian and French troops.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International had released reports outlining other allegations of misconduct by the Malian military and Islamists over the last month, as per agency report.
The groups said that they had documented cases of Malian soldiers killing suspected Islamist supporters in Sevare on the eve of the French-led intervention. Human Rights Watch cited at least 13 killings, while Amnesty said the number could be two dozen.
Human Rights Watch said the witnesses described seeing soldiers at a bus station in Sevare interrogate passengers suspected of links to extremist groups. Those without proper identification were taken away, the witnesses said.
"Before the soldiers marched them off, many of the detained men frantically tried to find someone in the crowd at the bus station who could vouch for them and verify their identity," the HRW report said. "They were driven or marched to a nearby field, where they were shot and their bodies dumped into one of four wells."
The Malian government has promised to investigate allegations of human rights abuses by its soldiers.