NGO Human Rights Watch, in a statement released yesterday, called for a quick and impartial inquiry into the events in Bounti on 3 January.
On January 3, an airstrike killed about 30 people in this city in central Mali. A few days later, the French army claimed to have carried out a raid with its fighter jets to neutralize terrorists. A version confirmed by the Malian Ministry of Defense.
But from the beginning, members of the Malian civil society have claimed that some of the victims are civilians who attended a wedding. Human Rights Watch teams were able to talk to three of the victims of the bombing.
“Three people told us unequivocally that the people gathered there were civilian participants in a wedding,” assures Jonathan Pedneaud, a researcher at the crisis and emergency department of Human Rights Watch, along with Gaëlle Laleix of the Africa Service. We are not in a position to confirm that all of them were in fact civilians, but in our opinion these are sufficiently reliable and serious allegations that an independent and impartial investigation can be launched. All these events ”.
Journalist : klFlorence Parly, the French Minister for the Armed Forces, spoke several times about “rumors”, especially during a consultation of the National Assembly’s Defense Committee. She put it in the context of an information war with terrorist organizations. What does this parade mean to you?
“If these are rumors, then France has nothing to fear from an investigation into the matter. This is the first thing. “The other thing that would be important for the Minister of the French Armed Forces is also to respect the words of civilian peoples, and that she not only accurately discredits the testimonies of these peoples, as she says she will protect and investigate the matter”.
► also read : Strikes in Bounti (Mali): Associations demand independent investigation