The US imposes sanctions on Mali and the Wagner Group for the massacre of 500 people in the Malian town of Moura

The US imposes sanctions on Mali and the Wagner Group for the massacre of 500 people in the Malian town of Moura

May 26. (EUROPE PRESS) –

The United States Government has imposed sanctions against two Malian military commanders for their alleged responsibility in the massacre of 500 people in the town of Moura, as well as members of the Wagner Group for their alleged involvement in it.

The US State Department has indicated that it has imposed visa restrictions against Colonel Moustaph Sangare and Commander Lassine Togola, who were responsible for the Malian Armed Forces that carried out the operation in Moura, “for their involvement in serious violations of Human rights”.

For its part, the Treasury Department has imposed sanctions against the head of the Wagner Group in Mali, Ivan Alexandrovich Maslov, for supporting this organization in the military operation.

The State Department spokesman, Matthew Miller, has indicated that the Biden Administration “will continue to promote justice and accountability for violations and abuses of Human Rights in Mali”, while indicating that it maintains its “commitment to support the Malian people”, calling for protection and respect for Human Rights and a return to a democratic government run by civilians.

“Mali’s continued association with the Wagner Group is worsening its security situation and prolonging human suffering. Wagner’s alleged use of Mali as a go-between to provide weapons to its fighters in Ukraine further demonstrates the extent to which the group will pursue its broader financial and political goals,” Miller denounced.

The United Nations said this month that there are “strong indications” that more than 500 people were massacred by the Malian Army and “foreign military personnel” during an operation in March 2022 in the town of Moura, located in the Mopti region ( center), in what Bamako described as an offensive against terrorism.

The report presented by a fact-finding mission from the UN Human Rights office indicates that most of the victims were summarily executed during the Army operation, in which mercenaries from the Wagner Group, owned by the Russian oligarch, would have participated. Yevgeni Prigozhin, close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The operation, which according to the military authorities targeted the Macina Front, linked to the branch of the terrorist organization Al Qaeda in the country, was launched on March 27, 2022, when a military helicopter flew over Moura before opening fire on the population. After that, dozens of soldiers arrived at the scene in another four helicopters and surrounded those present in the center of the village, shooting at those who tried to escape.

The Malian Army indicated in early April 2022 that its forces had “neutralized” more than 200 fighters from “armed terrorist groups” during Moura between March 23-31. It also indicated that another 51 people had been detained, while “significant amounts of weapons and ammunition” had been recovered, according to the statement from the Armed Forces.

Mali and the rest of the countries of the Sahel have experienced an upsurge in violence in recent years, both by groups linked to the branches of the terrorist organizations Al Qaeda and the Islamic State that operate in the region, as well as by inter-community groups. In addition, abuses by security forces have helped these groups to swell their ranks.

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