OHCHR Urges Mali to Step Up Efforts to Protect Civilians

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

The Malian government should step up efforts in protecting the human rights in the country and holding those responsible for their abuses accountable, Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said on Tuesday.

“I again urge the Malian authorities to break the cycle of impunity and establish prompt, thorough, impartial and effective investigations into all allegations of human rights violations and abuses, including those committed by the military. Accountability must prevail to ensure peace,” the commissioner said.

According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), since the beginning of 2021, there have been reported 617 human rights abuses in Mali, including 165 killings and 328 abductions, marking a steep 37% increase from the previous half a year.

The UN human rights mission in Mali has also registered an increase in violations by state actors — 213 in the first half of 2021 as opposed to 53 in the last half of 2020. Majority of those, some 155 violations, were committed by the Malian Defence and Security Forces and consisted mostly of extrajudicial executions of civilians.

The rest of the human rights abuses were perpetrated by such groups, as the Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimin (affiliated with Al-Qaeda, banned in Russia) and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISIS, banned in Russia), the OHCHR added.

Mali has been roiled by Islamist insurgency since militants linked to the al-Qaeda terror group (banned in Russia) highjacked a Tuareg rebellion in 2012.

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