Malian Army Accused of Killing Mauritanian Citizens

A Malian delegation is expected in Mauritania’s capital Friday to discuss the alleged disappearance of several Mauritanians on Malian territory.

The delegation is scheduled to arrive in Nouakchott after the Mauritanian government accused Mali of “criminal acts” against Mauritanians on Malian territory. 

According to a French news agency report, a Mauritanian member of parliament, Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Henenna, says at least 15 of his countrymen have been killed in Mali. Social media posts have accused the Malian army of being responsible for the killings.

In a March 9 press release, Mali’s military government said its ambassador to Mauritania was summoned to a meeting with Mauritania’s foreign affairs minister over the alleged “assassination of Mauritanian citizens” in Mali. The release denied the Malian army is responsible for the killings and pledged to investigate the crimes. 

Malian officials visited Mauritania in January to strengthen the relationship between the two countries after the West African bloc ECOWAS imposed sanctions on Mali, in response to the military government delaying elections. 

Mauritania is not a member of ECOWAS and does not support the sanctions. The West African country, along with Guinea, remains one of the only ways Mali can have access to a port and international trade.

The Malian army has also been accused of “disappearing” several Fulani men in Mali’s Segou region, with the U.N. and Human Rights Watch conducting investigations. 

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