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UN accuses France of killing civilians



Video length: 2 min.

France 2

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AC.Poignard, N.Bertrand, C.Marchand, D.Olliéric, C.Vignal, A.Fajon, J. Cohen-Olivieri

France 2

France Televisions

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UN investigators say Barkhane’s forces killed 19 civilians on January 3, 2021, in an airstrike in central Mali. The victims were reportedly reunited for a wedding, which was also attended by suspected members of an Islamist group. Paris maintains that there was no blunder.

UN experts have investigated the scene of the French military strike. They combed the impact area, questioned the villagers: in total, two months of investigation in Mali, and a report accusing France. “The group affected by the strike was overwhelmingly made up of civilians, who are people protected against attacks under international humanitarian law”, can we read in the MINUSMA report.

What happened on January 3, in the risk zone of central Mali north of Bamako, near the village of Bounti? According to UN experts, the French operation killed 22 men, most of them civilians. Only three have been identified as belonging to a jihadist group. “I admit, this is where the bomb fell”, assures a man who participated in the wedding, met by the teams of France Televisions. “There were a few women and a lot of men at the wedding, adds another. The men were sitting under the trees, and the women were on the other side. “ “All these people were farmers, breeders”, another man declares.

According to the Minister of the Armed Forces, a terrorist group had been identified. “We strongly reiterate that the air strike that was carried out on January 3 near the village of Bounti was a strike that was targeted against armed terrorist groups”, indicated Florence Florence Parly, the Minister of the Armed Forces.

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