Human Rights Watch accused on Monday, the Malian armed forces and foreign fighters likened to Russian paramilitaries from the Wagner group of executing dozens of civilians in central Mali since December 2022, during anti-jihadist operations.
The NGO has also denounced cases of torture of detainees, destruction and looting of civilian property.
With the UN Mission due to leave the country by the end of 2023, the NGO is urging the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States to bring pressure to put an end to the abuses and hold the Malian authorities accountable.
Human rights watch reports on the testimonies of 40 people interviewed who described the involvement of armed foreign men who did not speak French.
It reported that eight bodies had been found lifeless following an assault on the village of Séguéla in February by white foreign fighters in uniform, which resulted in beatings, looting and the arrest of 17 men.
The junta in power since 2020 has sidelined France and has turned politically and militarily to Russia.
It denies all presence of Wagner and speaks instead of Russian army instructors deployed in the name of state-to-state cooperation.