A video of what was said to have been the killing of Sheikh Mohamed Ag Mba Ag Ibrahim and some of his students by Wagner on August 20 in the village of Hassi Ould Dukhani, east of Timbuktu, north of Mali, a jurist in Islamic religious sciences from the Ansar tribe, over seventy years old, spread on social media platforms.
Ayoub Ag Shamed, spokesman for the International Organization for Justice, said to Sky News Arabia that the organization denounced in the strongest terms what he described as "the heinous crimes committed by Wagner and the Malian army against civilians."
Ag Shamed called on international human rights organizations to intervene immediately, and called on Russia to withdraw Wagner militants from Mali, stressing that these crimes do not have a statute of limitations.
Bamako had hired the Wagner Group to cooperate in training the army and countering terrorist movements, replacing French forces that Mali demanded to leave the country in 2022.
The Azawadi NGO Emohag monitored what it described as abuses by Wagner and the military in a report released Friday:
- On 14 September, a group of Wagner executed 12 civilians by firing squad in the Gossi area, after forcing them to get off a public bus bound for Gaon.
- On August 20, the group shot dead Sheikh Mohammed Ag Ibrahim and a group of his disciples, a video posted by Wagner on its official website.
- On August 18, merchants increasingly complained of being looted by Wagner, killing one person and kidnapping and holding 9 others for no reason.
- The organization observed the killing by a patrol of the Malian army of an elderly sheikh named Hadab Ag Mohamed, with a rifle strike after midnight on May 29 in Menka, one of the city's elders and the elder brother of Bey Ag Mohamed, a former minister in the government of Moussa Traoré.
- In March, Malian and Wagner forces carried out a large-scale arrest campaign in the Azawad region, including Mohamed Ag Hamida, his father Hamida Ag El Ghimara, leader of the Imidagon 2 community, the mayor of Gossi, for no reason, the organization said, as well as Sidi Mohamed Ag Tahar, the second deputy mayor of Harborough and 15 people with him.
Human Rights Watch Report
The U.S. organization said it had documented at least 700 deaths in incidents involving Wagner, mostly in central Mali.
According to Human Rights Watch's report for the period from December 2022 to late March 2023:
- On 3 February, 17 men were arrested and the bodies of some of them were later found tens of kilometers from Séguéla, and they appear to have been handcuffed before being shot and slit throats, according to a video cited by the organization.
- On 6 March, army forces and "white fighters" attacked the village of Sosobi, killing 5 civilians and arresting 21 others who transported them by helicopter, according to witnesses.
- On 23 March, "foreigners" and government-affiliated militias killed at least 20 civilians in the village of Winkuru, and arrested 12 others and transferred them to a camp in the town of Ambassadors where they were tortured.
Earlier, eyewitnesses spoke to Sky News Arabia about what they described as "Wagner" crimes in the central region of Mopti and the western region of Timbuktu and its suburbs, including:
- On 10 April, an Arab merchant from the Awlad Ghannam tribe, Hami Ould Lazine, was killed in a market in Mopti province, after a Wagner operative shot him directly and seized his money.
- On 11 April, gunmen raided the Inktva market in a village belonging to Timbuktu at peak time and killed 6 market goers, one of them an elderly sheikh from the Kalantasser tribe, another a black Tuareg vendor, and 4 Arab merchants from the Barabish tribe, and seized what they could transport from the merchants' goods, which was repeated on April 13 at the weekly Vivia market.
- At dawn on the same day, unidentified gunmen attacked the security center of the area, killing two people, a policeman and a driver of Ghanaian nationality, and wounding 3 people.
Brief financial response
It is noteworthy that the Malian government objected to the accusations contained in some of the mentioned reports, stressing its keenness to "promote and protect human rights."
But Bamako said that "because of these allegations, an investigation has been opened into possible crimes."