A statement by a group of United Nations’ experts has been published on the UN resources, calling for an immediate independent investigation of gross violations of human rights and possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Mali by the “Wagner” group since 2021.

The statement was joined by members of the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the rights of peoples to self-determination, UN Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues etc.

“We are disturbed by the apparent increased outsourcing of traditional military functions to the so-called “Wagner” group in various military operations,” the statement said, stating that since 2021, experts have received persistent and alarming accounts of horrific executions, mass graves, acts of torture, rape and sexual violence, pillaging, arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances in Mali, in the Mopti area and other places, in the context of ongoing hostilities, involving the “Wagner” group.

“We are particularly worried by credible reports that over the course of several days in late March 2022, Malian armed forces accompanied by military personnel believed to belong to the Wagner Group, executed several hundred people, who had been rounded up in Moura, a village in central Mali,” UN experts said; according that most of the victims belonged to the Peuhl minority. “The use of mercenaries, mercenary-like actors and private security and military companies only exacerbates the cycle of violence and impunity prevailing in the country,” experts said.

The statement indicated that the victims of the “Wagner” group face many challenges in accessing justice and remedy for the human rights abuses, including sexual violence, and related crimes committed against them, particularly in light of the secrecy and opacity surrounding “Wagner’s” activities in Mali.

“The lack of transparency and ambiguity over the …Wagner Group, combined with reprisals against those daring to speak out, create an overall climate of terror and complete impunity for victims of the Wagner Group’s abuses,” the statement added.

Let us recall that our Association constantly informs the above-pointed special rapporteurs and UN working groups about the crimes committed in Ukraine, including the occupied Crimea, by Russian mercenaries, including “Wagner”; a number of our messages were made public on the resources of the relevant UN structures and were taken into account in their work.

Similar Posts