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military challenges UN version based on “fragile and friable testimonies”

“There was no wedding, no festive event,” said Frédéric Barbry, spokesperson for the military staff on franceinfo, contradicting the report of the United Nations (UN).
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“Relying solely on testimonies is not sufficient and it is a methodological flaw”, denounced Tuesday, March 30 on franceinfo the colonel Frédéric Barbry, spokesman for the staff of the armies, while a report of the United Nations (UN) concludes that an air strike led by the French army in Mali in January killed 19 civilians gathered for a wedding.

“We know how fragile and crumbly these testimonies are”, added the colonel. “Do the witnesses have any sympathies or even allegiances with armed terrorist groups? That we do not know.” Regarding the holding of a civil marriage, in which these 19 civilians would have been killed according to the UN, the spokesperson for the staff of the armed forces assures that “We observed this strike zone for several hours before these strikes were carried out. There was no wedding, no festive event.”

Colonel Barbry continues that“there is no materiality, there is no concrete proof, apart from these testimonies”, before continuing: “I remind you that the first testimonies reported a night strike, which was not the case since it occurred during the day, reported helicopters while we struck with fighter planes , reported gunshot wounds when only bombs were dropped. “

Finally, with regard to the UN’s desire to conduct an independent investigation in France and Mali, the colonel declared that“it is not for me to oppose myself to this kind of decision at first”, while specifying that “these inquiries are important for the manifestation of the truth.”

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