12 February 2013

Mali: Reconquering North Mali Occupied By Islamist Groups - the Malian Army Ordered to Respect International Humanitarian Law

press release

After Malian and French forces launched their operation to reconquer the North, an FIDH mission in Bamako saw evidence of exactions - summary executions and abductions - committed by the Malian army against alleged jihadists in Sévaré, Niono, Diabali, Gnimi Gnama and Mopti. On 23 January, FIDH informed the international community of this situation and urged the parties concerned to act in a manner that would avoid greater reprisals and grave intercommunity tension.

In response to this information, the French Minister of Defence enjoined the Malian army officers to be "extremely vigilant" about the risk of abuses. In a press release, the Malian government said that "the army must be irreproachable", and " there can be no question of our condoning acts that we blame the terrorist for" . The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, which opened an investigation on the situation in Mali, invited the Malian authorities "to immediately end these alleged acts and, by virtue of the principle of complementarity, commission investigations and prosecute the persons responsible".

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