Mali : Human Rights Organisations’ Manifesto for a Peace Agreement that Respects Victims’ Rights

Press release
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Considering the Constitution of the Republic of Mali of 25 February 1992 that guarantees the rights of the human being to life, liberty, safety and physical integrity, and that enshrines the principle of non-discrimination and forbids inhumane, degrading, cruel and humiliating treatment;

Considering Resolutions 2100 of 25 April 2013 and 2164 of 25 June 2014 of the United Nations Security Council emphasising that the MINUSMA mandate consists of “enhancing negotiation capacity and promoting the participation of civil society, including women’s organizations” [S/RES/2100 (2013) - §16, b), iii) & S/RES/2164 (2014) - §13, b), ii] ;

Considering the preliminary agreement to the presidential election and the all-inclusive negotiations of 18 June 2013 in Ouagadougou that recall the determination of the parties to “build a prosperous, democratic state that guarantees the rights of all its citizens [...]” and stress their attachment to “the values of democracy, good governance, justice, and the protection and promotion of human rights…” [§ 3&9 of the preamble] ;

Considering that Article 18 of the Ouagadougou Agreement mentioned above provides for the establishment of an international commission of inquiry on war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, crimes of sexual violence, and grave violations of international law on human rights and international humanitarian law;

Welcoming the resumption of negotiations between the government of Mali and the armed groups (MNLA, MAA et HCUA) held in Algiers on 16 July 2014 in order to reach a “permanent solution to the conflict” as sought by our organisations;

Welcoming the creation of four (4) thematic negotiating groups, including the one on “reconciliation, justice and humanitarian matters” provided for in the Consensual Roadmap and a Declaration of Cessation of Hostilities signed by parties to the negotiations in Algiers on 24 July 2014;

Recalling that there can be no just and lasting reconciliation in Mali without an effective response to the needs of justice, with strict respect for the right to recourse and to a fair trial;

Recalling that impunity is one of the causes of the rebellions that have occurred in Mali, with numerous and serious violations of human rights occurring as a consequence;

Recalling that the fight against impunity is one of the key elements of a genuine national reconciliation and a guarantee for the prevention of vengeance;

Recalling that criminal prosecution is intended to produce a dissuasive effect, to provide public denunciation of criminal behaviour, and to provide a direct, individual form of accountability for the guilty persons;

Regretting that the basic principles of the Roadmap do not include the question of human rights or the fight against impunity in general;

Regretting that human rights organisations that assist victims of the crisis were not involved in the Algiers negotiations;

Condemning the lifting of six arrest warrants and the political release of 23 members of the MNLA and HCUA by the Malian government in October 2013, as well as the release of 42 members of armed groups on 15 July 2014, all of which have been denounced by our organisations;

Condemning particularly the liberation of Houka Houka Ag Alfousseyni, a former Islamist judge from Timbuktu indicted for his alleged role in the perpetration of serious violations of human rights by handing down extrajudicial sentences (amputation, summary execution, arbitrary arrests, ill-treatment…), against parties represented as the plaintiff by AMDH and FIDH before the Court of First Instance of Commune III, on 20 June 2014;

Underlining that the confidence-building measures, such as the release of “persons detained because of the conflict” in application Article 18, line 3 of the Ouagadougou Agreement, does not justify the political release of presumed perpetrators of serious human rights violations and the violation of the principle of separation of powers enshrined in article 81 of the Malian Constitution of 25 February 1992;

Finally, recalling that political negotiations are necessary to reach a permanent, inclusive peace agreement that respects national unity and the rights of victims to justice, truth and reparation as enshrined in international and national instruments ;

We, the human rights organisations, recommend to the :


  • Exclude all amnesty for international crimes, including sexual violence and conscription of child soldiers, in accordance with the Rome Statute to which Mali is a signatory;
  • Pledge to respect and contribute to the smooth functioning of the legal proceedings for these crimes, including the presentation of individual persons before the national and international courts;
  • Fully involve civil society organisations and spokespersons for population groups in political negotiations in order to bring about lasting peace;
  • Promote a peace that is just, equitable, and sustainable for all the people of Mali while ensuring their safety;
  • Maintain national unity, territorial integrity, secularism, and the republican form of government in accordance with the Roadmap;
  • Ensure effective disarmament, demobilisation, and socio-economic reintegration of members of armed groups in accordance with the Ouagadougou Agreement;
  • Collaborate fully and completely with the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, especially with regard to access to records, testimony by the perpetrators and the victims, and unimpeded access to the zones etc.


  • Take proper measures to ensure that the perpetrators of crimes are prosecuted, brought to trial, and sentenced as appropriate;
  • Guarantee that victims have the right to justice, truth, and reparation;
  • Promote the effective participation of all the actors of Malian society in the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission;
  • Adopt the application decree of Law No. 2012 – 025 of 12 July 2012 on the compensation of victims of the 17 January 2012 rebellion and of the 22 March 2012 insurrection;
  • Establish the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, in particular by appointing commissioners who meet the criteria of integrity, competence, and impartiality;
  • Adopt laws to ensure transparent governance and the fair distribution of resources for the development of the northern regions; 


  • Support the implementation of the international commission of inquiry on the crimes committed in order to begin independent and impartial investigations into the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law;
  • Support the involvement of civil society in the peace negotiation process.

Done in Bamako, 27 August 2014

Signatory organisations: 

  1. FIDH
  2. Malian Association for Human Rights – AMDH
  3. Association of Malian Jurists – AJM
  4. Lawyers without Borders – LWB-Mali
  5. Association DEMESO
  6. Collectif Cri du Cœur
  7. Malian Women’s Rights and Citizenship Group – GP/DCF
  8. Women’s Peace and Security Network – ECOWAS-WPSN/Mali
  9. Women in Law and Development in Africa – WILDAF
  10. Amnesty International-Mali – AI Mali
  11. National Federation of Collective Women’s Organisations of Mali – FENACOF
  12. Malian Association for International Law – MIDA
  13. Malian Coalition for the Rights of the Child – COMADE
  14. Malian Coalition of Human Rights Defenders – COMADDH
  15. Malian Coalition for the International Criminal Court – MC-ICC
  16. Tribune des Jeunes pour le Droit au Mali– TRIJEUD-Mali
  17. Association for the Consolidation of Peace, Development, and the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights – TEMEDT
  18. Collective of Actors for Peace – CAP MALI
  19. Journalists network for the Promotion of Human Rights= - RJ-PRODH
  20. National Women’s Movement for Securing Peace and National Unity – MNFPUN
  21. National Commission for Human Rights – CNDH
  22. Network of African Women Ministers and Parliamentarians – NAWMP
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