Russia backs Malian probe into mass graves near ex-French base
Following the finding of bodies near a former French base in Mali, Russia backs an investigation into the affair and calls on Paris to assume responsibility.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday it supported Mali's intent to launch an investigation into suspected mass graves found near an army base that belonged to the French military until recently.
"We support the decision of the Malian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of this crime. We hope that those responsible will be found and brought to justice," the ministry said.
Moscow also said France should cooperate with Mali on the investigation, warning officials in France and the European Union not to shift the blame for the suspected killings on the Malian forces.
Malian troops have reportedly found bodies buried near the base in the town of Gossi, which had been under the control of French forces until they handed it over to Mali this week.
France had sent troops to the western African country in 2013 with the stated goal of defeating jihadists in northern Mali and the Sahel. The operation ended in February following the deterioration of France's ties with its former colony.