The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
The inquiry launched by the Secretary-General to determine the facts surrounding the violent demonstration that took place on 27 January 2015 in Gao, Mali, in front of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) Regional Headquarters has submitted its report.
The inquiry determined that members of a MINUSMA Formed Police Unit used unauthorized and excessive force on civilian protesters during the demonstration, resulting in the death by gunfire of three protesters and the wounding of four others.
The inquiry also established that some protesters and organizers of the demonstration bear responsibility for the violence of the protest, which included Molotov cocktails, stone throwing and attempts to breach the perimeter of the Regional MINUSMA Headquarters in Gao. The inquiry noted that MINUSMA security forces were left to face the protesters on their own in violation of the Status of Forces Agreement with the host country. Five MINUSMA police officers were wounded during the event.
The Secretary-General profoundly regrets the casualties among civilians resulting from the excessive use of force during this event by the MINUSMA personnel concerned. He condemns it as a violation of the MINUSMA Directive on the Use of Force. The Secretary-General is committed to ensuring that the responsible individuals are held fully accountable for their actions.
Steps are being taken in this regard with the authorities of Mali and the relevant police-contributing country. The Secretary-General encourages the Government of Mali to take the appropriate steps to prevent future such incidents. Communications, management and crisis procedures within MINUSMA will also be examined to prevent the recurrence of such acts.
The Secretary-General is committed to ensuring justice for the victims and their families according to local customs and appropriate United Nations procedures. MINUSMA is in contact with the local authorities and with the individuals and families concerned in this regard. On behalf of the United Nations, the Secretary-General expresses his deepest apologies to the victims and their families.
The United Nations and MINUSMA in particular remain committed to supporting the stabilization of Mali.