Indeed, since the peace agreement was signed in May and June 2015, security has been declining substantially; the civilian population and the MINUSMA personnel have been increasingly exposed to armed attacks, particularly in the North of the country, and many human rights violations have been committed by terrorist armed groups, as well as pro-government groups and the Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA).
In this regard, FIDH and AMDH urge the Security Council to retain a strong mandate on protection of civilians and to provide the MINUSMA with the necessary means to defend its mandate. Also, the mission’s military rules of procedure should be clarified in the mandate and its operational capacities enhanced, especially through appropriate training of the troops before their deployment to such asymmetric contexts, and the reinforcement of air and land-based military equipment.
The center of the country, in particular the region of Mopti, is still witnessing important human rights violations in counter-terrorism context, and acute incitement to communal violence. Arbitrary detentions and arrests, kidnappings and murder of civilians, mainly targeting the Peul community, are allegedly perpetrated by the Malian armed forces which are currently fighting against the Macina Liberation Front, linked to the terrorist group Ansar El Din.
In that regard, FIDH and AMDH recommend a stronger presence of the MINUSMA in the region, by deploying an international police force in order to ensure the return to stability and the restoration of State authority.
As they reminded the UNSC member-states during a series of bilateral meetings held in New-York in May 2016, and in the advocacy note published herewith, our organizations, who represent many victims of crimes against humanity and war crimes perpetrated during the Malian conflict that erupted in January 2012, expect the Malian authorities to take responsibility and ensure effective access to justice for victims.
Considering that the security conditions do not allow for magistrates to return and work in the north and because the prosecution of those responsible for the most serious crimes is crucial for the establishment of a sustainable peace, FIDH and AMDH suggest the creation of a specialized judicial division for grave human rights violations perpetrated in the north and ask for the immediate establishment of the international commission of inquiry planned in the Ouagadougou and Alger agreements.
The MINUSMA should also encourage the Malian government to adopt the necessary measures to ensure protection of victims and witnesses.
Last but not least, our organizations recommend that the Security Council provide the MINUSMA with the mandate to accompany the Malian authorities in the preparation and the organization of local elections to be held in the Fall, an essential step for the redeployment of the state authority on the whole territory, as soon as possible.