Despite the implementation of the Peace Agreement, the human rights situation in Mali remains of concern
Bamako – 1st February 2018
MINUSMA and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a joint public report today on human rights and the peace process in Mali, the product of monitoring and analysis conducted during the interim period of the Peace Agreement.
Despite the signature of the Peace Agreement, the report finds that the human rights situation remains of concern.
Accordingly, the report published today finds that more than 600 cases of human rights violations and abuses were committed between January 2016 and June 2017. More than 800 other incidents involving unidentified armed elements and placing the lives of civilians at risk also occurred during the same period. In total, these acts of violence impacted more than 2,700 victims, including 441 individuals who were killed. The vast majority of victims were men and children.
More than 78 per cent of violations, abuses and other incidents putting the lives of civilians at risk involved signatory or non-signatory armed movements of the Peace Agreement, or unidentified armed elements. Perpetrators also include elements affiliated with Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Ansar Dine, and other similar groups. Malian State actors, primarily Malian defence and security forces, were involved in 20 per cent of these cases, while international forces, including MINUSMA, were involved in 2 per cent of them.
Various confrontations between signatory armed groups in Kidal region, the expansion of the activities of AQIM, Ansar Dine, and other similar groups, an increasing prevalence of armed robbery and other violent crime in the central regions of Mali, as well as counter-terrorism operations carried out by Malian defence and security forces, are the primary factors leading to human rights violations and abuses.
In this context, the Human Rights and Protection Division of MINUSMA has worked with Malian authorities and armed movements on issues related to the implementation of the Peace Agreement, in particular the issue of conflict-related detentions. Accordingly, the Division has monitored human rights violations committed against persons arrested and detained in the context of counter-terrorism operations.
The Division has also followed the issue of the fight against impunity, which is a cardinal element of any lasting peace process, including judicial procedures related to violations and abuses committed by armed movements between 2012 and 2013, as well as those involving Malian defence and security forces during their re-taking of Northern Mali beginning in 2013.
The report notes, however, that significant progress has been made in the area of transitional justice, with the establishment of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, and the beginning of statement-taking from victims and witnesses of human rights violations and abuses.
“This report provides useful insights on the challenges and progress in the human rights situation in northern and central Mali,” noted the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and Head of MINUSMA, Mr. Mahamat Saleh Annadif, adding that “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.”