The Malian army announced the discovery of a mass grave in Kidal, a northeastern town recently regained from Tuareg insurgents, over the weekend.
“This mass grave recalls the atrocities committed by these terrorists who have neither faith nor law,” the army said in a statement late Saturday.
It stated that the discovery was discovered on Thursday during “operations to secure Kidal,” but gave no further details.
The military said it was conducting investigations to “bring those responsible to justice.”
On November 14, Mali’s army retook Kidal, a Tuareg separatist stronghold that had been out of the hands of the central government since 2014.
The town was retaken when UN Mission in Mali (Minusma) personnel evacuated their camp in Kidal on October 31 as part of an agreement to leave the nation by the end of the year.
In Mali, the army took power in a coup in 2020 and, following months of deteriorating relations with Minusma, asked for their resignation this June.
The withdrawal of approximately 11,600 UN troops and 1,500 police officers has heightened tensions in the country’s north, which is contested by the central government, Tuareg rebels, and Islamic terrorists.
Separatist parties argue that handing up Minusma’s camps to the Malian army violates cease-fire agreements struck in 2014 and 2015.
Conflict between Tuareg factions and the army has resurfaced, with separatists constantly accusing the army and their Russian mercenary organization Wagner of atrocities against civilians.