The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
The Secretary-General is following with concern the rising toll of intercommunal clashes in central Mali, including the killing of 22 people in the village of Koumaga, Mopti region, on 23 June. He calls for calm and restraint, and urges all parties to seek a peaceful resolution of differences and reconciliation through dialogue. The Secretary-General expresses his condolences to the families of the victims, to the Government and people of Mali.
The Secretary-General is concerned about reports of human rights violations committed against the population by Government forces, including in the village of Nantaka on 13 June. He underlines the need to hold perpetrators of all crimes accountable and to bring them to justice. In that regard, he welcomes the investigations announced by the Malian authorities and the disciplinary measures taken. The United Nations stands ready to assist the authorities.
The Secretary-General further underscores the urgent need to address the ongoing instability in the central part of Mali, including through the Government’s integrated security plan for the central regions, with a view to creating conditions conducive to the holding of peaceful presidential elections in July.