After the publication of a report devoted to the events of Moura, could Mali be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court?
This is a report that should make a lot of noise. The human rights division of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Mali (Minusma) has worked on a damning document for the Malian army but also for the Russian paramilitary group Wagner. In March 2022, the events in Moura had been particularly deadly. Between 200 and 600 dead, according to different estimates. All civilians.
Just a year ago, this locality in central Mali, then located in an area controlled by the jihadists of the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), was besieged for several days. Suspected of working for the enemy, residents were reportedly executed, women raped and homes looted.
It is on these events that the Minusma intends to shed light. The conclusions on the Moura massacre were to be made in the next few hours. If we do not yet know the details of the document, we know however that the report directly implicates, on the one hand, the Malian Armed Forces, on the other, the paramilitaries of Wagner.
A slim hope
For a year, Mali has always denied having massacred civilians. In reality, more than 200 "combatants of armed terrorist groups" were killed, according to Malian officials. For the Minusma, it is not so simple. But Bamako already has an answer to bring to the UN: the Minusma experts did not go there, to Moura, and therefore believes that the work of these experts is biased.
Since the events of March 2022, between the UN and Mali, the tone has often risen: after the events in Moura, Alioune Tine, independent expert on the situation of human rights in Mali, had asked for an investigation independent be carried out on "the mass crimes" which would have been committed in this commune. Russia, in the UN Security Council, had vetoed it. Last February, when he was behind the investigation, the Minusma human rights expert, Guillaume N'Gefa, was expelled.
The first consequence of the Minsuma's report could be the expulsion of its leader, the Mauritanian El Ghassim Wane. But for Bamako, this could be the start of a long and difficult debate with the International Criminal Court (ICC): Mali is a state party to the Rome Statute. “The ICC could indeed intervene. She could judge the crimes perpetrated in Moura. It has already opened an investigation in 2012. A Malian national has even been tried, another is pending. Two Malians worried in ten years is very little. But it is a hope”, assured Ousmane Diallo, researcher at Amnesty International, last April.