UN: Police used ‘excessive force’ in killing Mali protesters
United Nations: Members of a UN police unit in the West African country of Mali used “unauthorised and excessive force” in fatally shooting three civilians and wounding four others during a protest in January, the UN has announced.
It was one of the most serious incidents of violence by peacekeepers in the past decade.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “expresses his deepest apologies” to the victims and their families and is committed to ensuring justice for them, the statement said.
The UN statement yesterday did not mention the nationality of the peacekeepers, who are from Rwanda, a major UN troop contributor. They will be repatriated in the next few days, UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told reporters.
It will be up to Rwanda to take action to hold them accountable.
Up to four peacekeepers were implicated in the shooting, and families of the victims will receive compensation, said Radhia Achouri, a spokesman for the UN mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA.
The findings are based on an independent inquiry that Ban launched after the shootings in the northern city of Gao. The UN shared the findings on yesterday with families of the victims and with Malian authorities.
“The chief of MINUSMA offered condolences,” said Habiboulaye Ousmane Maiga, an uncle of Amadou Mahamadou, one of the protesters killed. The uncle said he was content with the fact that the mission had acknowledged its errors.