UN: Human rights violations increase in Mali

BAMAKO, MALI - SEPTEMBER 22: Malian police forces secure the area during the National Day military parade on September 22, 2018 in Bamako, Mali. (Photo by Xaume Olleros/Getty Images)


FILE PHOTO: A Malian soldier stand beside a destroyed building in Gao after a suicide car overnight, which killed three people, November 13, 2018. /VCG Photo

At least 527 civilians were killed, injured, abducted or disappeared during the second quarter of 2021 due to the human rights violations in Mali, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said in its quarterly report (April 1 to June 30, 2021) published on Monday.

“The second quarter of the year was marked by an increase in the number of civilians affected by violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law. Between April and June, at least 527 civilians were killed, injured, or abducted/disappeared, an overall increase of more than 25 percent from the first quarter (421),” the UN mission said.

The majority of violent incidents against civilians were perpetrated by the Jama’at nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM), the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (EIGS), and other similar groups, which killed, injured, or abducted 54 percent of the victims recorded nationwide. MINUSMA added that 20 percent of the violence was due to community-based militias and self-defense groups.

“Human rights violations were also documented during security operations carried out by the Malian Defense and Security Forces (MDSF) (9 percent) and international and regional forces (6 percent),” said the report.

For the UN peace mission in Mali, the operations led by international forces and the MDSF also resulted in serious human rights violations against local populations.

“The absence of judicial authorities in these areas has made it difficult to fight impunity, creating opportunities for JNIM and similar groups to mobilize support within local communities,” MINUSMA added.

The UN mission nevertheless saluted “the efforts” of the transitional authorities to “hold the perpetrators of human rights violations accountable for their acts”.

Mali fell into violence in 2012 with the occupation of its northern part by several armed groups. Under pressure from foreign forces deployed in Mali, these groups have dispersed in the south and center of the country where they attack both the army and the civilian population.