The human rights climate deteriorated in 2016 as implementation of the 2015 peace accord with armed groups in the north stalled. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb launched dozens of attacks on Malian security forces and international peacekeepers, extending their operations south. Islamist armed groups committed execution-style killings and intimidated civilians, while government forces responded with counterterrorism operations that often resulted in arbitrary arrests, executions, and torture and other ill-treatment. Rule of law institutions remained weak and Malian authorities made scant effort to hold accountable those implicated in serious abuses.      

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