Situation of human rights in Mali

On 20 June 2015, the CMA, largest rebels group in Mali has signed the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation, a document approved by the government. The UN mission (MINSUMA) lead international mediation process by engaging with armed groups and monitoring the ceasefire.

Signing the Agreement by CMA is a first step to building sustainable peace in the country and the event lead to direct and constructive political dialogue between CMA and the Platform (pro-governmental groups). Furthermore, the Agreement contains key human rights provisions. In the meantime, both parties agreed to postpone the local elections due to the fact that only return of refugees and internally displaced person can guarantee an inclusive electoral process. An insecure situation in the northern regions of Mali was also reported.

Despite the political progress, the security situation in Mali has deteriorated steadily in 2015. Significant number of terrorist attacks was reported in the regions of Mopthi, Segou and Gao. These attacks targeted civilian objects as well as members of the Malian armed forces and MUNUSMA forces. In the north of the country, the threat posed by illegal trafficking remains a matter of concern. Drug trafficking has a detrimental impact on national security and regional stability and undermines respect for human rights, rule of law and sustainable building of peace.

The judicial investigation and prosecution of human rights violations committed by members of military forces continue to be a challenge. Cases involving alleged sexual violence, death sentencing has been reported. The Human Rights Division of MINUSMA monitored the abuses and trails. The government shows tendency to announce amnesty, which in fact would be contrary to international law and the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation. The lack of institutional framework, material and human resources is one of the major obstacles to fighting against impunity. Some positive actions have been undertaken. The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights and HRD of MINUSMA organised an international conference on the various mechanism involved in the transitional justice. Several recommendations were produced, in particular regarding drafting of a national strategy document on transitional justice.

Human Rights Division of MUNUSMA monitors the human rights situation in Mali. The division has carried out special investigate missions across the country to verify allegations of human rights violations, ceasefire violations and humanitarian abuses. The representatives of the missions monitored actions of CMA and Platform. The major violations of human rights include: unlawful arrest and detentions, acts of torture, ill treatment of prisoners. In the areas affected by activity of terrorist groups, the HRD has documented violations of physical integrity, the right of life, freedom of movement and trade. Several cases of summary executions, unlawful arrests and detentions, inhuman treatment were also recorded.

Recommendations:

  • Compliance with international standards and obligations whereas combating terrorism
  • Zero-tolerance policy toward human rights violations committed by security force (condemn, prosecute and sentence)
  • Public denunciation of all forms of violence against women
  • Strengthening the capacity of the Malian judicial system (allocate necessary resources to the judiciary, ensure security of judges)
  • Establishment of National Human Rights Commission.
  • Respect the ceasefire and Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation
  • Release of solider-children from armed groups and their reintegration.
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