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UN investigation reveals French airstrike killed Malian civilians

French forces have been in Mali for practically a decade

A French airstrike killed 19 civilians and three gunmen at a marriage in Mali in January, in response to a UN report.

The French Protection Ministry disputed this conclusion, claiming that the January 3 assault was aimed toward an “armed terrorist group”.

France has 5,100 troops within the Sahel area to struggle militants linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

The UN investigated after residents alleged {that a} helicopter shot at individuals attending a marriage close to the village of Bounti in central Mali.

The investigation revealed {that a} marriage ceremony had taken place and that there had been “100 civilians on the web site of the strike,” the AFP information company mentioned, citing the UN report.

About 5 armed individuals, believed to be members of an al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadist group, additionally attended the celebrations, in response to the report.

“The group affected by the strike was predominantly made up of civilians who’re protected individuals below worldwide humanitarian legislation,” the UN mentioned.

“This strike raises critical considerations as to respect for the ideas of the conduct of hostilities,” he added.

A soldier in Niger at sunset - 2019A soldier in Niger at sunset - 2019

Regional and worldwide forces have been unable to include the insurgency within the Sahel

In a press release, the French protection ministry mentioned it had “many reservations in regards to the methodology used” by UN investigators.

It “persistently maintains and firmly reaffirms” that the airstrike was aimed toward an “armed terrorist group,” the ministry added.

The UN investigation was carried out by the human rights division of its mission in Mali, experiences the Reuters information company.

His crew analyzed satellite tv for pc photographs, visited the area in late January and interviewed greater than 400 individuals.

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