Human Rights Watch welcomes the adoption of the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review for Mali, and, in light of ongoing concerns about weak rule of law and the dramatic increase in reports of human rights abuses both within the context of counterterrorism operations and combatting communal violence, we urge the government to swiftly and fully implement the recommendations aimed at addressing these challenges.
We remain extremely concerned about serious rights violations committed by the Malian security forces against suspected members of Islamist armed groups. Since 2017, Human Rights Watch has documented the alleged summary execution of at least 60 suspects, dozens of enforced disappearances and numerous cases of torture and ill- treatment by the security forces. None of these have resulted in prosecutions of security force personnel or redress for the victims of their family members.
The government has committed to investigate several of these incidents, including one in which 25 men were allegedly executed just two weeks ago. This is a significant step, but for genuine accountability, the government needs to fully implement the UPR recommendations aimed at ensuring that criminal investigations of security force personnel meet international standards of credibility, impartiality and independence, and that the government takes measures to ensure the security forces abide by international human rights and humanitarian law.
We remain extremely concerned about persistent intercommunal conflicts in central and northern Mali, exacerbated by ethnic tension over banditry and access to land and water, that have left several hundred people dead and thousands displaced. The conflicts around Menaka and in the Mopti region have dramatically worsened in 2018, resulting in dozens of deaths.
The government has taken steps to calm tensions, but largely failed to investigate and prosecute those responsible for violence. Human Rights Watch urges the government to take all necessary measures to protect the population at risk from communal violence in areas under government control and to implement the UPR recommendations aimed at strengthening the fight against impunity, notably by ensuring prompt and fair investigations and prosecutions.