Seit der Konferenz von Pau im Januar, wo Macron die Präsidenten der betreffenden Sahel-Staaten auf die Linie einer verschärften Bekämpfung der DjihadistenDifferenzierung der djihadistischenunterschiedlichen Gruppen unter Evaluierung von Verhandlungsmöglichkeiten: https://www.lawfareblog.com/negotiating-jihadists-sahel-and-nigeria und einer verstärkten Kooperation mit der Operation Berkhane einschwor, steigt die Zahl der zivilen Toten in der Region. Die französischen Truppen haben im Februar eine massive Offensive gestartet. ACLED führt die Statistik dazu, Amnesty berichtet über knapp zwei hundert Zivilist*innen, die allein in den Monaten Februar und März durch militärische Übergriffe getötet wurden.
Die Operation Berkhane wurde auf 5.100 Soldaten aufgestockt. Offenbar funktioniert inzwischen auch die Luftunterstützung der G5-Truppen durch französische Mirage.
Sahel: Soldiers rampage through villages killing people under guise of anti-terror operations
- Nearly 200 people including IDPs unlawfully killed or forcibly disappeared between February and March 2020.
- Arbitrary arrests sweep up dozens at a time, some aren’t seen again
- Impunity and the desire to produce “victories” fuel violations in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso
Soldiers rampaging through villages in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso have unlawfully killed or forcibly disappeared at least 199 people between February and April 2020, Amnesty International said in a new briefing published today. Some of the killings amount to extrajudicial executions and among the victims, are internally displaced persons.
The briefing ‘They Executed Some and Brought the Rest with Them: Civilian Lives at risk in the Sahel’ calls on the governments of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger to put an end to the impunity around the regular violations committed by their security forces against unarmed populations, and to ensure that military operations are in conformity with human rights and international humanitarian law. In Mali and Burkina Faso where the situation amounts to a non-international armed conflict, the deliberate killings of unarmed civilians by security forces could meet the qualification of war crimes.
„Insecurity is rife in the Sahel where the general population is trapped between attacks by armed groups and ongoing military operations. While arbitrary arrests by security forces sweep up dozens of people at a time, some aren’t seen again, and the true scale of the violations committed by the armies is unknown.“ […]
Militant crackdown in Sahel leads to hundreds of civilian deaths – report
Amnesty records 200 state killings and forced disappearances in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, state members of internationally-backed G5 group
Hundreds of civilians have been killed by their own governments in Africa’s Sahel region since countries pledged a surge against militant groups at a regional meeting held by France in January.
Amnesty International said on Wednesday that it had documented 200 cases of unlawful state killings and forced disappearances in February and March in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, which are members of the internationally backed G5 force set up to fight militants in the Sahel.
The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) said as of last week there had been 600 reported killings by state forces since the Pau meeting in January, which was called by France with the G5 after a series of losses to groups with links to Islamic State and al-Qaida.
“You see a series of militant attacks and authorities who are inclined to show some kind of response carry out abuses and frame it as counter-terrorism success,” said Héni Nsaibia, senior researcher for ACLED.
Nsaibia said some of the violence may be down to soldiers seeking vengeance for attacks they had witnessed, but that there was also a culture of impunity.
“You don’t know who is sanctioning this state violence, at what level, but you see it happens across the [military] theatre, so because of that it seems the authorities have given a carte blanche,” he said.
The Fulani pastoralist community had suffered in particular, Nsaibia said, because they have been accused of supporting and even joining the armed groups, which themselves attack and intimidate the community.
More than 288,000 people were displaced in Burkina Faso from February to April and are having to live in overcrowded tents. The UN refugee agency warned this week of a humanitarian crisis.
Even as the UN’s security council discussed abuses by the G5 Sahel group of armies on 5 June, Malian forces reportedly raided the village of Binedama, where 26 civilians were killed.
Rights groups have also demanded Burkina Faso launch a credible investigation into the deaths of 12 men in custody, shortly after they were arrested, who witnesses said all had gunshot wounds to their heads.
William Assanvo, senior researcher for the Institute for Security Studies Africa, said state violence strengthens militant groups, which are able to pose as protectors for the Fulani against the army.
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