Yet another human rights group is calling the Malian junta to account tonight for its troops being involved in summary executions of detainees, with the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) claiming credible evidence for dozens of executions in Sevare, Mopti and Niono, all towns along the frontier with the rebel-held north.
Often the victims were people who arrived without state issued ID cards and were members of ethnic groups the junta identifies as supporting the rebels, leading to their detention as “infiltrators” and a quick execution without trial. In infrastructure-less northern Mali villages, many people never got such IDs in the first place.
The FIDH also reported that ethnic Tuaregs living in the capital had their homes attacked by the junta in recent days.
Mali Army spokesman Capt. Modibo Traore denied the allegation, which is a first for the junta. Previous reports of torture and summary execution were shrugged off, with Justice Minister Malick Coulibaly insisting that “no army in the world is perfect.”
The problem of the abuse of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is likely to grow as the French offensive against central and northern Mali continues, with air strikes and foreign troops forcing civilians to flee south into the lands of a junta whose troops would just as soon shoot them as anything.