International Federation of Human Rights Defenders warns of an «acceleration» of abuses in Mali

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The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) warned Thursday that this year «will likely be the deadliest in Mali» since 2012, after reporting an increase in serious abuses against civilians.

The FIDH — which has published a report on crimes committed during the conflict against the civilian population between 2018 and 2022 — said that this year «symbolizes a deadlock and a dead end» after ten years of conflict.

Therefore, the federation has encouraged the international community, including the United Nations and the African Union (AU), to support the end of violence in the country, strengthen the fight against impunity and recognize respect for international humanitarian law.

«The civilian population is living through hell,» the organization said, explaining that, as stated in the report, attacks, summary executions and sexual violence have been reported.

The document, which reveals «the magnitude of the crimes perpetrated», warns that these violations sometimes occur under the responsibility of the authorities.

In this regard, the entity points to jihadist insurgents, the country’s Armed Forces as well as their international partners, such as the Russian paramilitary group Wagner. «They continue to commit serious crimes, thus fueling the cycle of violence in the country, to the detriment of the Malian population,» the organization explains.

FIDH also criticizes the slowness of the judicial processes: «The impunity of those responsible for these abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law in Mali stands out».

The president of the organization, Alice Mogwe, warned that «the impunity of the perpetrators of the crimes multiplies the risks for the victims, all the more so in an environment marked by widespread insecurity».

«No nation, no people, let alone a people who have suffered as much as the people of Mali, can imagine peace and reconciliation without a healthy and fair justice, a justice that truly fights against impunity,» said Mogwe.

MALI CRITICIZES REPORT FOR LACK OF EVIDENCE The Government of Mali has reacted to the denunciations of the International Federation of Human Rights by pointing out that the army acts «with strict respect for human rights», reports Radio France International (RFI).

In this sense, the authorities of the country have denounced that the accusations made «without tangible evidence» have the «objective of tarnishing the image of the Malian forces».

For this reason, Bamako has shown its «negative stance», as it underlines «the remarkable progress» of the Army in the fight against terrorism.

Mali, like other Sahel countries, has been registering in recent years an increasing number of jihadist attacks by both Al Qaeda’s affiliate in the region and the Islamic State, which has also increased inter-communal violence and caused the displacement of tens of thousands of people.