MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. Moscow supports Mali’s decision to look into the circumstances around the recent discovery of mass graves and expects France to facilitate an investigation into the killings of Mali citizens, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"We support the Malian authorities’ decision to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of this crime. We hope that those responsible will be identified and justly punished. We also expect that Paris will really facilitate efforts to investigate the disappearances and killings of Mali’s citizens," the statement reads.
The Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out that "the French media, as well as some European officials, tend to shift the blame on others." "One can assume that some will be tempted to spread bogus stories in the media, which would be aimed against Malian troops whose achievements in clearing the country of the terrorist threat irk Paris so much as France proved unable to do the same during its years-long presence in Mali," the statement adds.
The Malijet media outlet reported earlier that a mass grave had been discovered near France's former Gossi military base in Mali. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the country’s media are linking reports of unidentified bodies to missing Malian shepherds and French troops who had been earlier suspected of abducting them. The fate of those people remains unknown.