Almost 100 civilians were killed on Sunday by armed groups in the village of Sobane, in the centre of Mali. On the same day, around 20 people were killed in an attack in the municipality of Arbinda, in the north of Burkina Faso.
We offer our condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people and governments of Mali and Burkina Faso. These atrocities committed against civilians may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. Investigations must be carried out immediately and the perpetrators must be brought to justice as quickly as possible.
Given this rise in violence against civilians, the authorities of Mali and Burkina Faso must increase their efforts to ensure the protection of their people and commit to implementing a process of dialogue and reconciliation with all communities as a matter of urgency. They must also urgently launch a process of disarmament and the dismantling of all the militias and self‑defence groups operating in these areas.
The European Union will continue to support Mali and Burkina Faso and the entire Sahel region in order to contribute to peace and security and meet the needs of its people.