Mali: Dozens of civilians massacred in militant raids on villages
10 August 2021 | 6:53 am
More than 40 villagers were massacred by suspected extremists in northern Mali, while 12 troops were killed in neighboring Burkina Faso.
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After the military seized power in Mali three years ago, people are now being called upon to vote on a new constitution. According to the authors of the draft, it will re-establish democracy in Mali and help prevent the insecurity and corruption that once led to the military coup.
The amendments are expected to facilitate a transition to civilian leadership in the junta-ruled West African country. Observers voiced concerns over last week's referendum, saying the vote was marred by irregularities.
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Mali's relations with the West have deteriorated sharply since a 2020 military coup in the country. The junta has rallied behind Russia and brought in the paramilitary Wagner Group to meet its security needs.
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Neighboring Burkina Faso and Mali, which are also both run by military juntas, strongly rebuked regional bloc ECOWAS for weighing the option of using force to reinstate deposed President Mohamed Bazoum.
Mali's junta demanded in June that the MINUSMA force withdraw from the West African country after a decade-long deployment. The mission was created to quell separatist and Islamist insurgencies in northern Mali.
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The pact allows Mali and Burkina Faso to provide military assistance to Niger in the event of military intervention against the putschists there.
No details have yet been given by Malian authorities on any casualties from the attack. It's the latest violence in the West African country after two assaults by suspected jihadis killed dozens a day prior.
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