Mali: FIDH and AMDH condemn the execution of at least six people at Tin Hama in the Ansongo Circle

Press release
en fr

On 21 May 2015, at Tin Hama in the Ansongo Circle, in the Gao Region, six people, including two humanitarian workers, were executed by armed elements.

FIDH and AMDH condemn this act which is a serious violation of human rights; our organisations call on the warring parties to strictly observe the rules of international humanitarian law and human rights’ international law; and call on the government to conduct impartial investigations aimed at bringing a case before the courts and judging the perpetrators of these crimes.

According to sources verified by AMDH and FIDH, on Thursday 21 May 2015, six civilians, including two humanitarian workers, were executed in the area of Tin Hama, following clashes between the Coordination of Azawad Movements (Coordination des mouvements de l’Azawad - CMA) and the Malian Armed Forces (Forces armées maliennes - FAMA) on the one side, and the Self-defence Group of Imrad Touareg and Allies (Groupe d’Autodéfense Touareg Imrad et Alliés - GATIA) on the other. Tin Hama is a rural community lying about fifty kilometres from Ansongo in the Gao Region and the fighting there also resulted in at least thirty families, from the community of Kel Elssouk in particular, being displaced.

According to CMA forces, the executions were carried out by elements of the FAMA, while a government press release dated 22 May announced that FAMA soldiers had only intervened to put an end to the fighting between elements of CMA and GATIA in the area, and claimed that they were responsible for the violence.

Some of the deaths involved were summary and extrajudicial executions and consequently amount to war crimes. The perpetrators should be pursued by Malian justice and, if necessary, by the International Criminal Court which opened an enquiry into the situation in Mali at the request of the government in July 2012.

Our organisations urge the Malian authorities, with the support of the international community, to open investigations as soon as possible in order to shed light on this event and on other cases of serious human rights violations, and to prosecute the perpetrators if required.

This event has occurred against a background of multiple violations by all parties in the conflict of the ceasefire agreement of 23 May 2014 and the declaration to end hostilities of 24 July 2014. These acts, by their nature, threaten the peace process which has already reached a significant milestone with the signing of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali in the wake of the Algiers peace process by the government of Mali, the Platform coalition of armed groups, the Coalition for the People of Azawad (Coalition du peuple de l’Azawad - CPA) and the international mediation team in Bamako on 15 May 2015 and the initialling of the agreement by the CMA on 14 May 2015 in Algiers.

Our organisations invite all parties to rigorously abide by the ceasefire agreements and to make every effort to effectively and fully apply the terms of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali. They further encourage CMA to sign this agreement as soon as possible in a bid to restore definitive and sustainable peace, long awaited by the Malian people, and to guarantee access to basic social services.

For several months, armed groups belonging to CMA and GATIA on the one hand and CMA and FAMA on the other have been fighting for control of areas in the north, where they have committed serious violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law. These violations have already resulted in the deaths of more than 150 people, with dozens of others being injured. Following several months of negotiations in Algiers, an Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali was signed on 15 May 2015 in Bamako by the government of Mali, the Platform coalition of armed groups, CPA and the international mediation team. CMA initialled this agreement in Algiers on 14 May 2015 but has, for the moment, not gone further.

Read more