In central Mali, victims and persecutors live together

AFP / Florent Vergnes

Paris—Dakar, 24 November 2022. The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) publishes a new investigation report (in French only) on violations and grave crimes committed in the context of the conflict against the civilian population in central Mali between June 2018 and June 2022. The report reveals both the scale of the crimes perpetrated, sometimes involving the responsibility of the authorities, and the slowness of judicial proceedings.

Attacks, summary executions, sexual violence: in central Mali, the civilian population is in a living hell. At a press conference in Dakar on 24 November 2022, FIDH made public its report on the violations and crimes committed in central Mali, mainly in the regions of Ségou and Mopti. This report is the result of several fact-finding missions carried out in 2021 and 2022 in the Centre of the country and in Bamako, during which nearly 100 witnesses and victims of these violations were interviewed.

Its reading shows the extent to which the security crisis in the centre of the country has become entrenched and has accelerated alarmingly since the beginning of 2022. The report also highlights the impunity of those responsible for these violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Mali. Community self-defense groups, jihadist insurgents, but also the Malian armed forces and their international partners in the Russian paramilitary group Wagner continue to commit grave crimes, fuelling the cycle of violence in the country, to the detriment of the Malian population.

"Impunity for the perpetrators of crimes increases the risks for the victims tenfold, in an environment marked by widespread insecurity."

Alice Mogwe, President of FIDH

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"No nation, no people, and even less so a people who have suffered as much as the Malian people, can envisage peace and reconciliation without sound and fair justice, a justice that really fights against impunity", added Alice Mogwe.

2022 was particularly deadly, in a conflict that has already lasted 10 years

Particularly deadly, the year 2022 symbolises the stalemate in which the country finds itself after ten years of conflict. This situation extends to neighbouring Burkina Faso, but also threatens the countries of the Gulf of Guinea. In light of this situation, FIDH is making new recommendations to the Malian authorities and the international community as a whole, and particularly to the United Nations and the African Union, in order to put an end to the violence and violations, by strengthening the fight against impunity and respect for international humanitarian law.

This report comes after FIDH published an investigative report in 2018, "Central Mali: populations caught in the trap of terrorism and counter-terrorism", warning the Malian authorities about the increase in violence in the Centre of the country. Since then, Mali has experienced two successive coups, in 2020 and 2021, which have resulted in a break with the constitutional order and severe restrictions on civic and democratic space in which fundamental rights and freedoms are violated.

Read our investigation report below (in French only) :

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