"France is concerned at the increase in murders and serious crime perpetrated against civilians in central Mali over the last few months, which reached a new peak yesterday, with dozens of fatalities … France calls for a strong response on the part of the Malian authorities in order to ensure that these crimes are immediately investigated and that their perpetrators are prosecuted and punished," the French Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a statement.
Bamako must ensure the disarmament of all militant groups, the ministry noted.
Mali currently suffers from chronic instability and simmering ethnic conflicts. There are about 20 ethnic groups, some members of which are reportedly affiliated with global terrorist organizations. At the same time, violence rocks neighbouring Burkina Faso, where at least 13 people were killed in an armed attack, media reported earlier in the day.