News / Africa

    Mass Grave Found Near Mali Military Base

    x
    Reuters
    Malian authorities have found a mass grave believed to contain the bodies of soldiers a week after the ex-junta leader was detained in connection with suspected crimes by the army.
     
    A judicial source said 21 bodies had been found at the site in the village of Diago near the southern garrison town of Kati, about 30 km (19 miles) north of the capital Bamako.
     
    A Reuters reporter at the scene said police were guarding the shallow grave on Wednesday. Diago residents said it was empty after Malian officials removed the corpses on Tuesday.
     
    A week ago, former junta chief General Amadou Sanogo, who led the March 2012 coup that plunged Mali into chaos, was arrested and charged with complicity in kidnapping.
     
    The case against Sanogo is part of efforts by newly elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to assert civilian control over the army, which has been accused by human rights groups of excessive violence and torture during a chaotic 18 months during which rebels occupied northern Mali last year.
     
    “We saw authorities come and exhume the bodies last night,” Yacouba Coulibaly, a Diago resident, told Reuters.
     
    “We told the authorities a long time ago that there was a mass grave here from when soldiers came to bury people here in 2012. The presence of the mass grave was not a secret here in Diago,” Coulibaly said.
     
    A senior military source said authorities had been instructed to inspect the site by judge Yaya Karambe, who is presiding over Sanogo's case as well as those of several other soldiers questioned in an investigation into army crimes.
     
    The main cases are the disappearance of a number of soldiers during a failed April 2012 “counter-coup” by soldiers loyal to ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure and the deaths of soldiers in a mutiny in Kati in September this year.
     
    It was not immediately clear whose bodies were in the mass grave. But the figure of those found matches the number of soldiers, at least 20, that Human Rights Watch said had disappeared after the army in-fighting in April 2012.
     
    Soon after the foiled plot, pro-Toure paratroopers known as “red berets” were denounced on state television as mercenaries.
     
    After ceding power to an interim civilian administration, Sanogo headed a military committee tasked with reforming Mali's armed forces before being removed in August, shortly after the election of the new president.
     
    The army's implosion allowed Tuareg separatists and Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda to occupy Mali's vast north until they were scattered during a French-led intervention in January.
     
    Attacks in northern Mali in recent weeks highlight the lingering Islamist threat while the depth of the divisions in the army mean Keita will have to push through thorough reforms to revamp the West African state's demoralized military.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora