UN probe links France to recent Mali airstrike

A UN investigation has linked France to the recent airstrike in Mali that killed 19 civilians attending a wedding. 

The study also debunked suggestions that the January attack was carried out by terrorist. 

According to the paper, the UN Mission in Mali’s human rights division, in collaboration with UN forensic experts, launched an investigation into the attack near Bounti (central Mali) on 3 January, and was “able to confirm that indeed there was a wedding ceremony that brought together about 100 civilians at the site of the strike, including five armed persons, presumed members of the Serma Katiba.”

The Katiba Serma is a terrorist alliance linked to al-Qaeda called the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM, or JNIM in Arabic).

According to the report, at least 22 people were killed, including three alleged Katiba Serma members – 19 on the spot and three during their evacuation. 

France confirmed that the bombing was carried out as a result of precise and verified intelligence, dismissing claims that it killed wedding guests.

Militants were said to have been wiped out by Paris. A terrorist organization was to be bombed by a fighter jet, according to French military personnel. 

A helicopter attack in broad daylight, according to villagers, sparked panic in a crowd that had gathered for a wedding. 

Mali’s government and the French army have previously refuted claims that a French airstrike killed wedding guests.

To fight militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State, France has over 5,000 military personnel stationed in Mali and the Sahel.

Educator, writer and legal researcher at Alafarika for Studies and Consultancy.

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