Mali: Involvement of certain elements of the defense and security forces in drug and weapons theft

The Ministry of Security and Civil Protection announced in the August 18, 2022 statement the involvement of certain elements of the defense and security forces in criminal activities and indicated in the statement that it noted the frequent and increasingly active involvement of some elements of the defense and security forces in drug smuggling, weapons, ammunition and theft, using the following mode of action:

Wearing the correct clothes to transport drugs and using their personal vehicles with tinted windows to transport them, from one area to another

  • Appointing themselves drug distributors in various cities, forming their own networks

  • Storing weapons and ammunition in the barracks armory to supply their customers or offering weapons for sale, seizing them during operations, or even their granted weapons by later declaring them lost

Using their stockpile of defense and security forces weapons and technology, such as the use of surveillance, reconnaissance and support elements, to commit acts of theft

  • Lending their stockpile of weapons to bandits (in particular thieves) in return for sums of money.

“These unacceptable and unimaginable practices constitute serious violations of our laws, regulations and criminal law,” the statement continued. In order to put an end to this behavior that denigrates our men and tarnishes the brand image of the Defense and Security Forces, I recommend, each in his own field, that this circular be widely distributed at the level of all your units.

It stated that any element found guilty of such practice would be subject to very serious disciplinary sanctions, without prejudice to legal process. It also attached importance to observing and respecting these instructions scrupulously, and called for maximum vigilance at all levels.

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