Mali amputations by suspected jihadists condemned

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The UN’s peacekeeping force in Mali has condemned amputations on civilians carried out by suspected jihadists in the north-eastern region of Gao.

At least three civilians had their hands and feet cut off on 2 May after they were captured by suspected Islamic State (IS) group jihadists.

“I strongly condemn these despicable acts. Such corporal punishment carried out by armed groups outside any legal framework is a serious violation of human rights, including the right of every human being to a fair and equitable trial before a regularly constituted tribunal,” El-Ghassim Wane, the head of the UN peacekeeping force, known by its French acronym Minusma, said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The amputations were a reminder of the horrors that marked the 2012 crisis – when the region was overrun by Islamist and Tuareg rebels following a coup and imposed Sharia, Minusma said.

The “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” was not acceptable, it said, adding that peacekeepers were working with the Malian authorities to address the problem.