Mali: Army and Wagner Forces Kill at Least 29 in Amassine, Kidal Region

3 Min Read

A coordinated operation by the Malian army and its Russian paramilitary allies from the Wagner Group resulted in the deaths of approximately 30 people on May 19th in the village of Amassine, located in the Kidal region. The Strategic Framework for the Defense of the Azawad People (CSP), a rebel group, has condemned the incident as a massacre of civilians and part of a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing. However, a Malian security source maintains that the individuals killed were “terrorists.”

According to various sources, including CSP members and independent contacts close to the rebellion, Malian soldiers and Wagner operatives arrived in Amassine early in the morning. These sources report that the troops quickly positioned themselves at the village’s water tower and began targeting villagers who came to collect water. The soldiers allegedly looted shops and set homes on fire. Reports indicate that over 30 male villagers, all civilians, were killed—four were reportedly beheaded, while others were executed by gunfire or burned alive in their homes.

Among the victims were two prominent figures connected to the local Tuareg chieftaincies. A Malian security source confirmed a death toll of 29 in Amassine, but claimed the deceased were armed “terrorists,” without specifying the militant group to which they allegedly belonged or the circumstances of their deaths.

This incident follows a pattern of alleged abuses by Malian forces and Wagner operatives. In March, a drone strike by the Malian army in Amasrakad killed around ten children. In October, approximately ten civilians were reportedly beheaded in Ersane by Malian forces and Wagner. Numerous other allegations of atrocities have been reported, although they have not been independently verified by sources.

The CSP has called these actions part of a “systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing” targeting Tuareg, Arab, and Fulani populations. They have appealed to “independent international jurisdictions,” including the International Criminal Court, and human rights organizations to conduct thorough investigations into these incidents.

This situation underscores the ongoing violence and complex dynamics in Mali, where military operations and rebel activities continue to create a dire humanitarian and security crisis. The international community’s response to these allegations and the pursuit of justice remain critical in addressing the region’s instability.


Share this Article