23 October 2013, Amnesty International (London)
Elements of Mali’s military appear to be carrying out a purge and extrajudicial killings of soldiers who took part in a mutiny last month in a barracks outside the capital Bamako, Amnesty International said today based on its research.
The bodies of four soldiers were discovered earlier this month near the capital and several others, including a Colonel, remain unaccounted for. These apparent extrajudicial executions and disappearances raise fears that soldiers loyal to General Amadou Haya Sanogo, who staged a coup in March 2012, are purging their ranks to quell dissent.
„This is the latest shocking example of how a small group of soldiers who appear to consider themselves above the law continue to cling onto power in Mali,“ said Gaëtan Mootoo, Amnesty International’s researcher on West Africa.
The organization is calling for the Malian authorities to open an independent and impartial investigation into these very serious events, and ensure that those allegedly responsible for the acts are suspended from duty and prosecuted. Such investigations will be a crucial addition to the efforts to restore the rule of law after the armed conflict in northern Mali.
„It’s appalling to see that despite the election of a democratically elected president in August 2013, a small group of soldiers loyal to the former junta continue to impose terror on their perceived opponents, in total impunity,“ said Mootoo.