UNITED NATIONS, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Three senior United Nations (UN) officials on Wednesday condemned in a joint statement an attack on a village in central Mali that killed dozens of civilians.
The statement was issued by UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng, UN Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect Karen Smith, and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba.
Gunmen raided the ethnic Dogon village in the Mopti region of central Mali on Monday, killing dozens, including women and children. The initial death toll of 95 was later reportedly revised down to 35.
In the statement, the UN officials deplored the heavy civilian casualties in the Mopti region since the beginning of the year, including the January attack on Koulougon village that killed 39 civilians and the March attack on Ogossagou village, in which at least 157 civilians were killed.
They called for immediate actions to de-escalate tensions, urging the Malian government to undertake a credible investigation into the atrocities and bring the perpetrators to justice.
"It is urgent to prevent further violence and brutality and to protect the civilian population from such grave violations, especially women and children who are among the most vulnerable in times of conflict," they said.
The North African country has been suffering deteriorating political and security conditions in addition to tribal fighting that left hundreds dead since March 2012.