Inquiry determines UN Mission police unit used "excessive force" in Mali

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An inquiry to determine facts surrounding violent demonstrations in Gao, Mali last January, has determined that members of a police unit of the UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) used unauthorized and excessive force on civilian protesters.

The inquiry was launched by the UN Secretary-General following the death by gunfire of three protesters and the wounding of four others.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

The Inquiry also established that some protesters and organisers of the demonstration bear responsibility for the violence of the protest.

Using Molotov cocktails and throwing stone, they attempted to breach the perimeter of MINUSMA Headquarters in Gao on 27 January.

The Inquiry noted that MINUSMA security forces were left to face the protesters on their own, in violation of the Status of Forces Agreement with the host country, Mali.

Five MINUSMA police officers were wounded during the event.

Deputy UN Spokesperson Farhan Haq has more.

“The Secretary-General profoundly regrets the casualties among civilians resulting from the excessive use of force during this event by the MINUSMA personnel concerned. He condemns it as a violation of the MINUSMA Directive on the Use of Force. The Secretary-General is committed to ensuring that the responsible individuals are held fully accountable for their actions.”

Mr Haq said that the Secretary-General encourages the Government of Mali to take the appropriate steps to prevent such incidents in the future.

Communications, management and crisis procedures within MINUSMA will also be examined to prevent the recurrence of such acts, he added.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’13″

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