A UN human rights expert calls upon the Mali government to urgently end the grave human rights violations being perpetrated by the country’s military, including a spate of extrajudicial executions that have reportedly left dozens of civilians dead this month alone.
“The killings of these civilians are not isolated events,” said Alioune Tine, the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali. “They are part of a growing and disturbing pattern where Malian Armed Forces perpetrate serious human rights violations with impunity.”
Tine said the prevailing climate of endemic impunity perpetuates violence and fosters mistrust among the population. “It is the opposite of what Mali needs in its quest to restore State authority throughout the country and ensure peaceful coexistence between communities.”
The expert has received information confirming that on June 03, a military convoy of about 10 vehicles stormed the village of Yangassadiou in the central region of Mopti and summarily executed at least 15 people and arrested several others.
On June 05, soldiers in a 30-vehicle military convoy and a group of armed Dogon traditional hunters (dozos) reportedly accompanying them killed at least 37 people, including three women and three children, after they opened fire indiscriminately on fleeing Peulh (Fulani) villagers in Binedama, also in Mopti region.
A day later, another military unit conducted a raid on Massabougou village in the Ségou region, summarily executing nine men, all members of the Peulh community.
“Mali must ensure prompt, thorough, and impartial investigations into these executions,” Tine said. “The country must urgently take effective steps to put an end to the arbitrary deprivation of life, and to bring to an end the vicious cycle of impunity which enables these serious violations.”
According to a recent quarterly update issued by the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), from the beginning of 2020 to the end of March, Malian national defence and security forces – including some operating under the G5 Sahel Joint Force – committed 119 extrajudicial executions, 32 enforced disappearances and 116 arbitrary arrests. Most of these incidents took place in the regions of Mopti and Ségou.
“In addition to these violations by State security and defence forces, communities in Central Mali continue to suffer endless violence from non-State/community-based armed groups which are committing human rights abuses with impunity,” the expert said. (Source: OHCHR)