Mass graves found in Mali


The United Nations’ peacekeeping mission uncovered mass graves in a region of northern Mali beset by conflict, the mission said.

Fighting between Tuareg groups has intensified in recent weeks in the north, threatening to derail a 2015 peace agreement.

The UN mission (MINUSMA) investigated reports of human rights abuses, including in Anefis, south-west of Kidal.
“As for Anefis, teams were able to observe on site the existence of individual graves and mass graves but are not able to establish at this stage either the number of people buried or the circumstances of their deaths,” MINUSMA said in a statement.

It confirmed 34 cases of human rights abuses in the area, including “enforced disappearances” of minors. Minors may have also been involved in the recent fighting, it said.

A 2012 Tuareg insurrection created a power vacuum in northern Mali, once a popular destination for adventurous tourists, turning it into a launch pad for jihadist attacks across the Sahara and the Sahel to the south.

Former colonial master France intervened a year later to push the Islamists back but they have struggled to stabilise the situation.