20 December 2012

Mali: Crisis in Mali - for an Action Government

Photo: US Army Africa
Senegalese and Malian soldiers train with U.S. special forces.

press release

After the forced resignation of the Diarra government and Django Sissoko's nomination, FIDH condemns the interference of military forces into political affairs, and calls upon the Malian authorities to ensure the stability and the good functioning of the national institutions, and the international community to actively support the fulfillment of the ECOWAS roadmap aimed at resolving the political crisis and conflict.

On Tuesday morning, 11 December Cheikh Diarra, the Malian Prime Minster, announced his resignation and that of his government via national television. The day before, Mr. Diarra had been arrested at home by armed men and led, in the middle the night, to the Kati Camp, headquarters of the National Committee for the Recovery of Democracy and the Restoration of the State (CRNDRE).There he had a discussion with the Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, head of the junta that took power on 22 March 2012. No information regarding the reasons for the detention, or for that of the subsequent resignation of the Prime Minister were communicated.

"Our organisation can only condemn the doubtful circumstances that lead to the Malian Prime Minister's resignation" declared Sidiki Kaba, FIDH Honorary President. "The national unity between all stakeholders must be guaranteed in order to find a resolution to the current political crisis in Mali which cannot be solved by a military interference", he added.

On 20 August of 2012, Dioncounda Traoré, Mali's President, had signed a decree that proclaimed the formation of the new national unity government, in accordance with the Economic Community of West African States's (ECOWAS) request related to the formation of a new executive branch stable enough and capable of managing the political transition and to regain the Northern part of the country. Amadou Haya Sanogo, former head of the junta, was nominated President of the Committee following the reform of the Army, and a kind of balance was found by forming a triumvirate composed of Sanogo, the President and the Prime Minister. "Despite the fact that the national unity's reinforcement willing is praisworthy, the Malian authorities struggle to translate this unity into reality through political decisions in favour of a quick exit of this crisis", declared Paul Nsapu, FIDH Secretary General.

The FIDH presented its positions, on 12 December 2012, at a public hearing before the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) at which African Union's Ambassadors were present and underlined the importance and the fundamental place of human rights in conflict resolution (see the PSC press release : www.peaceau.org/uploads/psc....). Following this intervention, the PSC expressed its views on Mali and reasserted the need for "organising, as quickly as possible and with he required inclusiveness conditions, free, transparent, and credible elections, [as well as] national consultations that would lead to the adoption of a roadmap for the management of the transition".

Since the beginning of the crisis, FIDH warned the international community about the serious crimes committed in the North and South of the country. [All the press releases of FIDH and AMDH concerning Mali are available at: http://www.fidh.ORG/-Mali,69-]. Furthermore, FIDH and its member organisation in Mali, AMDH, published a fact-finding report entitled "War crimes in North Mali" that highlighted human rights violations suffered by civilians in the North. More than eight months after the conquest of the northern regions by joint forces of the Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and armed Islamist groups, civilians still suffer various human rights violations.

This political change occurs while a military international intervention and an international support requested by the Malian authorities and the ECOWAS is being discussed. Unanimously adopted on 12 October 2012 according to Chapter VII of United Nations Charter, resolution 2071 requests the General Secretary of the United Nations to present a report, in consultation with the ECOWAS and the African Union, on which basis the Security Council will be able to authorise the deployment of an African operation in Mali which would enable Mali to regain the sovereignty and the integrity of its territory, and to fight against international terrorism. This report was presented at the Security Council on 5 December, and discussions regarding resolution on Mali continue.

In order to avoid the pitfalls of human rights violations committed during previous military interventions, such as what occurred in Somalia, FIDH stressed the importance of putting human rights at the heart of any dialogue for an end to the crisis and so to strictly guarantee human rights during potential military intervention. Thus, a joint open letter has been addressed to the members of United Nations Security Council m in which, in the event of the deployment of a military intervention, it was asked that Malian and foreign security and defence forces' will be trained in human rights, humanitarian and refugee laws, establish a civilian contingent human rights observer is incorporated, to check the respect of those rights on the field, and the support of the national and international efforts to prosecute authors of serious human rights and humanitarian law violations in Mali, which is under preliminary examination of the ICC.

The FIDH calls upon Malian authorities to take all necessary steps to ensure the transitional authorities' stability, to end the political crisis and find a way out of the conflict within the respect of human rights that requires the legitimacy of the institutions and thereby the organisation of free, fair and transparent elections. Furthermore, our organisation calls upon the international community, and especially members of United Nations Security Council, to adopt a resolution on Mali, to increase efforts in favour of political solutions for Mali's democratic future, and to guarantee a substantial human rights component of training and protection in event of a deployment of an armed international force.

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