Mali: UN deplores “generalized impunity” for human rights violations

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The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, found Tuesday “deeply worrying” the increase in human rights violations since August 2020 in Mali. “Widespread impunity” constitutes a serious risk for the protection of civilians, she warned in a statement.

“Generalized impunity” for human rights violations in Mali constitutes a serious risk for the protection of civilians, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights warned on Tuesday, deploring the deterioration of the situation .

“I again urge the Malian authorities to break the cycle of impunity and to conduct prompt, thorough, impartial and effective investigations into all allegations of human rights violations and abuses, including those committed by the army. Accountability must prevail to guarantee peace, “said Michelle Bachelet in a statement.

“I note that the Malian Prime Minister recently declared that he pledged to end impunity and I therefore call on the government to translate this pledge into action without delay,” she added.

The UN official considers “deeply worrying” the increase in human rights violations since August 2020 in Mali. It highlights the civilian casualties caused by repeated attacks over the past six months by jihadists such as those from the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM or Jnim in Arabic), linked to Al-Qaeda, or the State group. Islamic in the Great Sahara (EIGS), as well as by intercommunal violence.

The Human Rights and Protection Division of the UN Mission in Mali (Minusma) thus recorded 617 human rights abuses committed by armed groups between January and June 2021, including 165 homicides (147 men, nine women, seven boys and two girls). This represents an increase of some 37% compared to the documented facts from August to December 2020, indicates the Office of the High Commissioner.

Sharp increase in kidnappings

The statement said that a striking example of the deteriorating human rights situation is the sharp increase in kidnappings, mainly by community armed groups and militias in the center of the country, including the Dogon militia Dan Nan Ambassagou, but also by armed groups such as GSIM.

In the first six months of 2021, Minusma recorded at least 328 kidnappings (307 men, 11 boys, nine women and one girl), significantly more than the 187 recorded in 2020 and four times more than in 2019, reports the High Commission.

In addition, Minusma noted a sharp increase in violations committed by state actors during the first half of 2021 – from 53 violations recorded between August and December 2020 to 213 between January and June of this year.

Of these, 155 violations were perpetrated by the Malian Defense and Security Forces, including extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions of 44 civilians. These 155 violations represent approximately 73% of those committed by state actors.

Since 2012 and the outbreak of independence and jihadist rebellions in the North, Mali has been plunged into a multifaceted turmoil that has left thousands dead, civilians and combatants, despite the support of the international community and the intervention of forces from the UN, French and African.

After more than eight years of commitment, President Emmanuel Macron announced in June a future reduction of the French military presence in the Sahel, with the closure of bases and a re-articulation of the anti-jihadist struggle around an international alliance associating European countries. .

With AFP

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