Before the military coup in the middle of a challenge to Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s regime, the demonstrations followed each other with overflows in the protesters and also a murderous repression by the police. Minusma examined in detail what was really going on these days, from 10 to 13 July. She has just published her findings.
Fourteen protesters, including two children, were killed in Bamako by police during these demonstration days. Three others were killed in Sikasso. Minusma speaks of “summary and extrajudicial executions” and points to “disproportionate use of force”, including the use of live ammunition. About 40 protesters were also injured in the Malian capital.
Speak verified and cross-checked after more than 200 interviews conducted with families of victims, political leaders, civil society organizations or even medical staff at certain hospitals. Investigators also visited the main sites affected by this violence (ORTM headquarters, state radio and television, the National Assembly or the Imam Mosque Mahmoud Dicko).
Arbitrary executions and arrests
The various bodies of the internal security forces are concerned as this violence was committed by the gendarmerie, the police, the national guard and the Forsat, an anti-terrorist force whose mobilization against protesters had sparked controversy.
Finally, the report notes that at least 200 people, including women and children, were arrested and detained illegally in Bamako. Among them were political figures who led the protest (Choguel Maïga, Mountaga Tall, Imam Oumarou Diarra and Issa Kaou Djim, then united within the M5-RFP). All had been released pretty quickly. The report also points to significant restrictions on Internet access, which constitute a “violation of citizens’ rights and fundamental freedoms”.
UN investigators do not name a name: whether it is the contested use of Forsat or in particular the executions in connection with the suppression of demonstrations, Minusma emphasizes that it is up to the national authorities to determine the responsibility. each and to take legal action. The conclusions of the report were also shared with the transitional authorities as they had been with the leaders of the old regime.
Violence from protesters
Investigators from the Human Rights Department in Minusmase are also interested in the exaggeration of the protesters, with violence that injured hundreds of police officers, but also vandalism and looting, against public or private property or the installation of barricades that obstruct traffic. Minusma has also noticed numerous calls for hostility and even violence in the written and audiovisual press or on social networks. In particular, appealed against the then President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, against the government in place, but also against Minusma, ECOWAS and the international community.
At the material time, some allegations of more than twenty people being killed by the police, or even sexual violence suffered by protesters, were forwarded. Minusma investigators specify that they were aware of and investigated these figures and these allegations, which therefore turned out to be unfounded or in any case unsubstantiated.