To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of reports of a massacre of civilians by forces including Wagner group mercenaries in Gouni in the Mopti region of Mali on 17-18 September 2022.
We are aware of reports of civilian killings in Gouni by the Malian Armed Forces and Russian-backed Wagner mercenaries. The UK is monitoring the situation in Mali closely, together with international partners. The former Minister for Africa [Vicky Ford] condemned reports of civilian massacres and human rights violations and abuses in August. She also called for transparent and impartial investigations including by the UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA) and reiterated the importance of compliance with International Humanitarian Law during counterterrorism operations. The UK is committed to supporting the people of Mali. We are supporting the delivery of humanitarian and protection assistance to those most in need. Ultimately, we know that long term stability in Mali will only come from addressing the root causes of conflict, including governance.