UN Publishes Report on Mali Human Rights Situation

According to a United Nations report published last 1 February, that despite that the human rights situation in Mali is escalating, the UN sees respect for human rights in the country as a positive driver for change.

The Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali signed by the authorities, a rebel alliance from the north and a pro-government armed coalition, was finalized in June 2015.

Despite its ratification, more than 600 cases of human rights violations and abuses were committed between January 2016 and June 2017.

Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), stated: “This report provides useful insights on the challenges and progress in the human rights situation in northern and central Mali. It also demonstrates that respect for human rights, far from being a generator of tension, may contribute, on the contrary, to creating an environment that is conducive to the implementation of the Peace Agreement.” 

The UN study showed that more than 800 other incidents involving unidentified armed elements also took place during the reporting period which impacted more than 2,700 victims, the majority of whom were men and children.

Meanwhile, the Malian defence and security forces, and other state actors, were involved in 20 per cent of the cases, while international forces, including MINUSMA, were involved in two per cent.

Primary factors which led to the violations include confrontations between signatory armed groups in the Kidal region, the expansion of activities of Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb AQIM, Ansar Dine and other similar groups, and increasing armed robberies and other violent crime in the central regions of the country, as well as counter-terrorism operations conducted by the state.