France’s War in West Africa “People Collected Severed Arms, Legs and Heads”

France initially deployed its military to Mali to hunt down jihadists. But reporting by DER SPIEGEL shows that its soldiers have repeatedly killed civilians there. Is the country turning into France’s Afghanistan?
By Emmanuel Freudenthal, Matthias Gebauer, Patricia Huon, Héni Nsaibia, Maximilian Popp, Britta Sandberg und Youri van der Weide
French troops in Mali

French troops in Mali

Foto: Finbarr O'Reilly / The New York Times / Redux / laif
DER SPIEGEL 23/2021
SPIEGEL International
French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Bah N'Daw, the temporary president of Mali.

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Bah N'Daw, the temporary president of Mali.

Foto: GONZALO FUENTES / REUTERS
Displaced people in Mali

Displaced people in Mali

Foto: MICHELE CATTANI / AFP
"All they told me was that France is not responsible for deaths in Mali."

Idrissa Maiga, a farmer from central Mali