The United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday issued a statement expressing his shock and outrage over reports that over hundred people have been killed in attacks by armed extremists in central Mali in the past week, reported UN News.
The UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA, reported that at least 100 civilians reportedly died when militants attacked several villages in the Bandiagara region, close to Mopti. Several homes and shops were burned, and the attacks also led to the forced displacement of hundreds of civilians.
Attacks also took place in several localities in the Gao region of Mali.
In a statement issued by his Spokesperson, the UN chief said that he was equally appalled at the reported loss of life there, as well as by the high loss of life and livelihoods in other regions of the country as well, including in Ménaka where tens of thousands of people have been displaced in recent weeks.
He expressed his deep condolences to the families of the victims of the recent massacres, as well as to the people of Mali.
“He condemns these attacks in the strongest terms and calls on the Malian authorities to swiftly investigate them and bring the perpetrators to justice”, the statement said.
The UN chief also called on Mali’s military leadership to boost their efforts to restore peace and stability across the country, and reiterates the readiness of the UN stabilization mission MINUSMA, to support their efforts.
On Tuesday, MINUSMA said in a statement that it would soon set up a preliminary mission to aid regional authorities to deal with the aftermath of the violence, leg by an integrated team from the Mission, despatched from Mopti.
MINUSMA said that the mission will continue its efforts to help stabilize central Mali, which is one of its strategic priorities.