GENEVA (12 June 2020) – Mali must urgently step up efforts to end grave human rights violations being perpetrated by the country's military, including a spate of extrajudicial executions that have reportedly left dozens of civilians dead this month alone, a UN expert said today.
"The killings of these civilians are not isolated events," said Alioune Tine, the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali. "They are part of a growing and disturbing pattern where Malian Armed Forces perpetrate serious human rights violations with impunity."
Tine said the prevailing climate of endemic impunity perpetuates violence and fosters mistrust among the population. "It is the opposite of what Mali needs in its quest to restore State authority throughout the country and ensure peaceful coexistence between communities."
The expert has received information confirming that on 3 June, a military convoy of about 10 vehicles stormed the village of Yangassadiou in the central region of Mopti and summarily executed at least 15 people and arrested several others.
On 5 June, soldiers in a 30-vehicle military convoy and a group of armed Dogon traditional hunters (dozos) reportedly accompanying them killed at least 37 people, including three women and three children, after they opened fire indiscriminately on fleeing Peulh (Fulani) villagers in Binedama, also in Mopti region.
A day later, another military unit conducted a raid on Massabougou village in the Ségou region, summarily executing nine men, all members of the Peulh community.
"Mali must ensure prompt, thorough, and impartial investigations into these executions," Tine said. "The country must urgently take effective steps to put an end to the arbitrary deprivation of life, and to bring to an end the vicious cycle of impunity which enables these serious violations."
According to a recent
quarterly update issued by the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), from the beginning of 2020 to the end of March, Malian national defence and security forces – including some operating under the G5 Sahel Joint Force – committed 119 extrajudicial executions, 32 enforced disappearances and 116 arbitrary arrests. Most of these incidents took place in the regions of Mopti and Ségou.
"In addition to these violations by State security and defence forces, communities in Central Mali continue to suffer endless violence from non-State/community-based armed groups which are committing human rights abuses with impunity," the expert said.
The expert: Mr. Alioune Tine (Senegal) took office as
independent expert on the human rights situation in Mali on 1 May 2018. The mandate of independent expert was renewed by the Human Rights Council on 22 March 2019 for a period of one year to assist the Government of Mali in its actions to promote and protect human rights and in the implementation of the recommendations made in Council resolutions. Mr. Tine was a founding member and President of the African Meeting for the Defense of Human Rights (RADDHO) and Coordinator of the Forum of African NGOs at the World Conference against Racism in 2000. Between 2014 and 2018 Mr. Tine was Amnesty International's Regional Director for West and Central Africa. He has published many articles and studies on literature and human rights.
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