UN peacekeepers conduct a large operation to secure parts of Central Mali. Credit: MINUSMA/Gema Cortes


May 16, 2023, Washington, D.C. & The Hague – The conclusions of the UN’s fact-finding mission into the killing of hundreds of civilians in the village of Moura, in central Mali, in March 2022 over the course of five days, are shocking and disturbing, and underscore the recurring failures to protect civilians in Mali. Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) calls for all individuals involved in perpetrating the Moura massacre to be held accountable. 

“These discoveries are incredibly distressing and bring into painfully sharp relief the tragic plight of civilians in the region,” said Federico Borello, CIVIC’s Executive Director. “Time and again civilians pay the heaviest price for the conflict. We call on the Malian Government to investigate and respond to what happened in Moura posthaste.” 

On March 27, 2022, Malian troops and their foreign military partners descended in helicopters on the village of Moura, and killed at least 500 people during a five-day operation in this remote region of central Mali, according to a report from the UN Human Rights Office. The fact-finding mission revealed that extensive abuses were committed against civilians by Malian troops and their partners. 

“Stability in Mali, and the broader region, will never be achieved at the cost of civilians’ lives. Violence against civilians will only fuel distrust of the authorities and lead to further instability. The Malian government needs to ensure that it does everything in its power to protect civilians and, in cases such as the tragedy in Moura, hold accountable those responsible for such acts,” said Borello. 

CIVIC is also calling on Malian authorities to make amends to individuals and families who survived the attack by offering them compensation and assistance. To prevent similar killings in the future, the authorities should also allow the UN peacekeeping mission unhindered access to implement its Security Council mandate in Mali, including the protection of civilians and the promotion and protection of human rights. 

The report came after a months-long fact-finding mission, in what was described as the worst attack in the country’s 10-year conflict between the Malian army and armed groups. The conflict has claimed thousands of lives and displaced hundreds of thousands more. 


CIVIC in Sahel:     

Since 2018, Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) has engaged with communities, the military, and community militias in the Sahel to improve civilian protection. Based on the premise that civilians are the best agents of their own protection, CIVIC supports civilians to advocate for their protection, including with state and non-state security forces. CIVIC provides training and advice to defense and security forces in Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Mali and Mauritania, and to support their efforts to protect civilians. Read more here.      


For more information and media inquiries, please contact:   

In Sahel: Amina Issa Oumarou, Senior Manager of Advocacy, Policy and Communications: aoumarou@civiliansinconflict.org  +227 90272827  

In the Hague: Hajer Naili, Director of Communications: hnaili@civiliansinconflict.org, + / +1.917.889.5982 (WhatsApp)     



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