A Sickening Repetition of History: The Reflection of Trauma by the Malian Army

by Margaret Wang ’25

Source: The New Humanitarian

Published Apr. 8th, 2022

In light of recent events, it is deeply saddening to witness the destruction of once-beautiful communities, which have commonly become a result of generational misuses of governmental power and discrimination. Such misuses, though quite familiar in many other nations, have made themselves prevalent in Mali. 

Roughly one week ago, it was revealed that around 71 Malian civilians have been killed by their own military since December of 2021, and were often due to the relentless suppression of Islamic insurgencies. Mass executions of all age groups have also risen tremendously since 2012, one of which being the atrocity found near the Ségou region. 

With exactly 35 charred bodies lying scattered across the soil, the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, and U.S have been heavily investigating both this event and many others similar to this. It was confirmed that the majority of the victims were previously arrested before, and it is no secret that many protesters and religious groups have been frequently assaulted by the Malian guards. 

Still, murders are usually hidden from the public ear. Such reports of aggressive vanquishes have reached worldwide news, and many international organizations are vowing to take action and condemn the Malian government. Though the social unrest is prominent enough, there is still a concerning wave of accusations and assassinations against Maruitanians.  

About two weeks ago, the Nouakchott foreign ministry accused the Malian army of killing at least 15 of their people in cold-blood after the disappearance of multiple Maruitanians near the border. Unverified witness voice recordings posted online have also claimed that the army was to blame for the disappearance of at most 30 innocent civilians. Evidently, there has been a profound slew of murders actoss Mali for unexplained reasons; it is unclear as to why the Malian government would inflict such harm on others, but the one logical explanation may be a greed for power and dominance. 

Many times throughout history, we have seen dictators and corrupt officials carry out unimaginable killings for the sake of fulfilling their own political agendas. Despite the horrors that we see each day, we must continue to persevere and denounce any form of violence in even the toughest of times.

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