Bamako (AFP) The International Criminal Court said on Wednesday it was investigating several potential war crimes including murder in Mali, months after finding an ex-jihadist guilty liable for millions worth of damage in the landlocked country. “Our investigations are continuing (into) other crimes… sexual crimes and crimes against peacekeepers, killings and all those,” ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told reporters in Bamako. The Hague-based tribunal said in August that ex-jihadist Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi caused 2.7 million euros worth of damage when he destroyed several fabled shrines in Timbuktu, in northernRead More
Bamako (AFP) At least three UN peacekeepers were killed Sunday when their vehicle hit an explosive device in Mali’s troubled north, the UN’s mission to the conflict-torn country said. MINUSMA said the attack, which left another five soldiers seriously wounded, took place early Sunday on a road between the city of Gao and a village called Anefis. In a separate statement, the Bangladeshi armed forces said three of its soldiers had been killed and another four wounded when their vehicle hit the explosive device. “A mine hit our peacekeepers,” saidRead More
Bamako (AFP) Former rebels and pro-government fighters have signed a new ceasefire in northern Mali, they told AFP Thursday, after a summer of intense battles in violation of a 2015 peace deal. The ceasefire lays out an “immediate halt to hostilities”, according to a document signed by the groups on Wednesday in Bamako, and the release of prisoners, following almost a week of talks in the capital. Pro-government armed groups known as the Platform have lost significant ground to the ex-rebels of the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) in theRead More
Bamako (AFP) A Malian soldier was killed and a number of others were injured Wednesday in an ambush in northern Mali, where gunmen also attacked two military camps, including a UN mission, a military source said. The ambush took place 55 kilometres (34 miles) from Menaka, when one of the unit’s vehicles ran over a landmine, the source said. Meanwhile, in the northern region of Kidal, gunmen attacked a camp run by the UN mission in the country, known by the acronym of MINUSMA, and another camp due to hostRead More
Bamako (AFP) Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Saturday inaugurated the headquarters for a planned five-nation force to combat jihadists in the Sahel region, officials who attended the ceremony told AFP. The HQ is located in central Mali at Sevare, about 10 kilometres (six miles) east of Mopti, in a region that has been hit by a wave of terror attacks in recent months. The five-battalion, 5,000-strong force, decided at a summit in Bamako on July 2, is to comprise troops from Niger, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Burkina Faso. ItRead More
Bamako (AFP) Mali’s president has suspended plans for a referendum on constitutional change, a move cheered by the opposition Saturday after months of street protests against the reforms. “In the higher interests of the nation and to preserve a peaceful social climate, I have taken the responsibility of deciding to suspend the holding of a referendum on revising the constitution,” President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said on television Friday evening. The proposed reforms, the first constitutional revision in 25 years, aim to put in place some commitments made in a 2015Read More
Bamako (AFP) The head of an Islamic police brigade deployed by jihadists controlling a northern Mali city in 2012 was jailed for 10 years Friday, after being convicted of crimes that included cutting off the hands of suspected thieves. Aliou Mahamar Toure had denied a long list of offences, as he stood trial in Bamako, having been accused of endangering state security and aggravated assault. “The court finds the accused guilty of all charges,” said the verdict after the one-day trial. Rights groups had earlier said the charges — amongRead More
Bamako (AFP) Gunmen attacked a UN base in central Mali on Monday, killing a UN peacekeeper and a Malian soldier, the United Nations said, denouncing a “revolting terrorist attack”. The soldiers were killed during an attack in Douentza, in the Mopti region, according to a statement from the UN mission in the country, known by the acronym MINUSMA. Another peacekeeper was wounded but not seriously, the statement said. A group of attackers “fired at a MINUSMA camp from an adjacent hill,” with the Malian armed forces returning fire, according toRead More
Bamako (AFP) Former rebels are holding child prisoners in their stronghold city of Kidal following clashes with a rival armed group in northern Mali, the United Nations said Thursday. Fighting between the ex-rebels of the Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA) and the pro-government Platform group has worsened in recent weeks in northern Mali, in repeated violation of a 2015 ceasefire. The CMA said in late July it was holding dozens of prisoners in Kidal, a city it controls, after dismantling a base of the GATIA militia — part ofRead More
Bamako (AFP) The United Nations said Saturday it was investigating mass graves found in a northern Mali town along with a slew of human rights abuses committed by armed groups vying for control of the area. The pro-government Platform group has clashed repeatedly with the former rebels of the Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA) since June, violating a 2015 peace deal they signed aimed at ending separatist unrest and jihadist inroads into Mali’s north. The UN mission in the country said in a statement that human rights investigators hadRead More