Joint public report on the situation of human rights in Mali from 1 November to 31 May 2014

20 Mar 2015

Joint public report on the situation of human rights in Mali from 1 November to 31 May 2014


The present report was prepared by the Human Rights Division of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). It is jointly published by MINUSMA and the Office of the High-Commissioner for human rights (OHCHR). It documents the gross violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian laws committed in Mali between 1 November 2013 and 31 May 2014. 

One year after the signing of the Ouagadougou Preliminary Agreement (OPA) in June 2013, the security situation in Mali remains of concern, especially in the north because of the resurgence of armed clashes between the armed groups and the Forces Armées du Mali (FAMa), terrorist and asymmetrical attacks as well as inter-communal clashes, particularly in Kidal, Gao, and Timbuktu. 

Since May 2014, the human rights situation has considerably deteriorated in the north after armed clashes between FAMa and the armed groups took place in Kidal on 16, 17 and 21 May 14. The clashes have resulted in serious human rights and international humanitarian law violations and abuses committed by both parties.

The present report was drafted in accordance with the OHCHR methodology for collection, verification and analysis of information. It is the result of 36 field missions undertaken by MINUSMA Human Rights Officers in Kidal, Gao, Timbuktu, and Mopti during which they were able to monitor over 150 detention facilities in the 4 regions as well as in the localities of  Sélengué (140km from Bamako), Dioila (200 km from Bamako) and Markala (Ségou).

The human rights violations and abuses documented in this report include cases of summary and extra-judicial executions, arbitrary and illegal arrests and detention, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, sexual and gender-based violence committed by the FAMa, especially following their progressive return in the north after the signing of the OPA. The report documents the summary execution of 10 civilians and 150 cases of arbitrary and illegal arrests undertaken by FAMa.

On the other hand, the Human Rights Division documented serious abuses of international human rights and humanitarian laws committed by the armed groups. At least 50 cases of asymmetrical and terrorist attacks that targeted FAMa, MINUSMA and SERVAL, were committed by Mouvement national pour la libération de l’Azawad (MNLA), Haut conseil pour l’unité de l’Azawad (HCUA), Mouvement arabe de l’Azawad  (MAA) as well as elements of extremists groups resulting in the killing of 6 individuals . Besides, at least five people, including two journalists from Radio France Internationale (RFI), were kidnapped and executed by terrorist groups in the region of Kidal. In addition, during the reporting period, 12 major inter-communal clashes in Gao opposing Peulh and Tamasheq in the region of Gao were documented, resulting in the killing of 75 individuals. 

Finally, the report makes a number of recommendations to the Government of Mali, the armed groups as well as the international community to urge all parties to uphold and respect human rights and humanitarian principles, to pursue the fight against impunity, and to double efforts towards the restoration of a dialogue which will hopefully lead to the signing of a peace agreement.     

Download the report (french):