In his latest quarterly report on Mali, UN Secretary-General António Guterres estimates that the human rights situation is very worrying in Mali.
In the central regions (Segou, Mopti), the report highlights an expansion of violent extremist groups that undermine «the fundamental freedoms of movement, religion and conscience». In addition, the anti-terrorist operations conducted by the Malian armed forces have also led to human rights violations, says AntónioGuterres.
The Malian army is involved in 33 violations among the 170 cases identified by the UN mission (Minusma) in the last three months, «against 112 cases and 348 victims in the previous period, including 1 enforced disappearance, 5 cases ill-treatment and 28 cases of unlawful detention».
In last September, human rights organization Human Rights Watch released a report in which it said that military operations were giving rise to abuses in central Mali. «The government will not tolerate unfounded attacks that are likely to undermine the morale of the Malian armed forces», then Minister of Human Rights, Kassoum Tapo, reacted in a tough outing.
«Respect for human rights must prevail»
The UN Secretary-General reports that during the Operation Barkhane raid on October 1 in Kidal, among the seven people arrested, «at least two were arbitrarily detained». In fact, the French military conducted a vigorous search at the house of the rich businessman, Mahamadou Ag Rhissa, who would be involved in the transportation of migrants and smuggling of fuel. During his arrest with six other people, three vehicles were burned. «There are many confusions and misunderstandings among all the stakeholders involved in the Malian crisis. However, respect for human rights must prevail throughout the country, regardless of the anti-terrorist force in question», Kamissa Camara, a specialist in political affairs in the Sahel, told Sahelien.com.
21 children separated from armed groups
According to António Guterres, only the Kidal region has seen a decrease in human rights abuses, «following the signing of the commitments by the CMA and the Platform. The CMA released 23 individuals captured during the July 2017 clashes with the Platform, but still holds 6 people and the Platform 1».
The violations do not spare children. Since August 2017, 21 children have been separated from armed groups. «An awareness-raising continues to target the release of four more children between the ages of 16 and 17, who were previously associated with armed groups and are still in government-run detention centers since April 2015», the report added. Thus, after the signing on March 5, of the action plan on serious violations (recruitment, use, sexual violence) committed against children with the United Nations, the Coordination of Azawad Movements has appointed persons responsible for its implementation in Bamako, Kidal, Timbuktu and Gao.