GENEVA / BAMAKO (14 February 2014) – The United Nations Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali, Suliman Baldo, will undertake his second information-gathering mission to the country from 17 to 26 February 2014.
“I will assess the authorities’ response to a number of key challenges, including the fight against impunity, the restoration of security and the authority of the state, as well as the issue of inter and intra community violence in the north of the country,” the expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council said.
“My visit will provide an opportunity to stress the importance of accountability for the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed by armed groups, and some elements of the Malian armed forces, in the north of the country since the beginning of the crisis,” Suliman Baldo noted, while welcoming the positive steps taken so far by the Government in the fight against impunity.
Mr. Baldo will also hold discussions with authorities and civil society about the mandate and the operations of the newly established Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, which “could potentially help to address past injustices and restore the rights of victims to justice, reparation and guaranty of non-repetition of human rights violations.”
The Independent Expert will take part in capacity building activities in the area of transitional justice, including a training session on international crimes for judges, and a stakeholders’ meeting on the coordination of technical and financial assistance to transitional justice in Mali.
During his ten-day mission, Mr. Baldo will meet high-level governmental, judicial and security officials, the President of the National Human Rights Commission, the representatives of non-governmental organizations, religious leaders, the diplomatic community and UN agencies.
The Expert will visit the north of Mali and detention centers throughout the country. He will also meet with victims, internally displaced persons and Malian refugees.
The visit will enable M. Baldo to update his report to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council on 26 March 2014 in Geneva (Check the report: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session25/Pages/ListReports.aspx)
Mr. Suliman Baldo (Sudan) took up his functions as UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali on 1 August 2013. In that capacity, he acts independently from any Government or organization. The mandate of the Independent Expert was established by the Human Rights Council in 15 March 2013 for a period of one year, to assist the Government of Mali in its efforts to promote and protect human rights and to act upon the Human Rights Council’s recommendations.
Mr. Baldo was previously the Africa director at the International Centre for Transitional Justice in New York. In 2011, he served as one of the three commissioners of the International Commission of Inquiry on Côte d’Ivoire established by the Human Rights Council to investigate violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed in Côte d’Ivoire during the post-electoral violence.
UN Human Rights, country page – Mali: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/MLIndex.aspx
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