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Rule of Law, Governance Crucial to Counterterrorism Strategy

(Banjul) – The G5 Sahel military force created to counter Islamist armed groups in the Sahel region of Africa should fully respect international human rights and humanitarian law in its operations, Human Rights Watch said today. Governments…
Malian soldiers, part of the five-nation G5 Sahel military force, patrol in central Mali in November 2017.  The 5,000-member force will comprise two battalions each from Mali and Niger and one each from Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania.
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Justice Ministry Should Conduct Criminal Investigations

(Nairobi) – The Mali Defense Ministry’s stated commitment to investigate serious alleged abuses by the security forces during operations in central Mali is a meaningful step toward accountability, Human Rights Watch said today. In a September…
A Malian soldier during a military operation in northern Mali, October 19, 2017.
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Mali, Burkina Faso Troops Commit Killings, “Disappearances,” Torture

(Nairobi) – Mali and Burkina Faso military operations to counter the growing presence of Islamist armed groups in central Mali have resulted in serious human rights violations. Since late 2016, Malian forces have committed extrajudicial killings,…
Map of Central Mali, September 2017
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“The jihadists are the law now,” an elder from central Mali told me. “The very day the French-supported operation finished, the Islamists were back in the villages,” confided another villager last week, referring to a military operation near the…
French soldiers from Operation Barkhane stand outside their armored personnel carrier during a sandstorm in Inat, Mali, May 26, 2016.
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Investigate Abuses, Protect Vulnerable Civilians

(Nairobi) – Armed groups have carried out a wave of killings in central Mali since January 2017. The killings, by Islamist armed groups, self-defense militias, and, to a lesser extent, government soldiers…
Map of Central Mali
News

Killings, Repression, Insecurity Imperil Civilians in North, Central Region

(Nairobi) – Islamist armed groups in northern and central Mali have executed numerous people and are increasingly imposing restrictions on village life. The Malian government has largely been unable to protect vulnerable civilians in…
A soldier surveys the debris following a November 29, 2016 suicide car bomb attack at the Gao airport, used primarily by UN forces stationed there. The attack was claimed by the armed group Al-Mourabitoun, whose forces committed the war crime of perfidy b
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Summary No one here reports to police because they fear for their lives. . . . There are people who have been missing for more than nine months. Some are taken for a few weeks or days for questioning and then returned, so it is…
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Kenyan security forces have forcibly disappeared at least 34 people in the past two years during abusive counterterrorism operations in Nairobi and in northeastern Kenya. The military was actively involved in raiding homes and compounds to arrest people…
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He sat quietly drinking tea on a December morning in a village in central Mali. But Amadou, a local chief from the Segou region whose name I have changed for his protection, was worried. “I know of 10 young men who’ve joined…
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“Maria,” a Ugandan worker, paid $400 in 2013 to an agency in the United Arab Emirates that promised her a job in a mall in Dubai. Instead, the agency placed her as a domestic worker with half the salary she had been promised. Maria told me that her…
A female employer and her children are accompanied by their domestic worker, back right, as they walk through The Avenues, an indoor luxury shopping center in Kuwait City.
News

Response of Kenyan Security Forces Should Protect Rights

(Nairobi) – The abominable attack on Garissa University College in northeastern Kenya requires a measured response by Kenyan security forces to bring to justice those responsible and prevent further attacks. At least 147 have been confirmed dead and 80…
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Donors Should Suspend Support for Abusive Units

(Nairobi) – There is strong evidence that Kenya’s Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) has carried out a series of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Human Rights Watch also found evidence of arbitrary arrests and mistreatment of terrorism…
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They came in the night, truckloads of armed gunmen, spraying gunfire and burning buildings in the tiny Kenya coastal town of Mpeketoni. At two hotels where guests were watching the World Cup, attackers wearing black bandanas questioned residents about…
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Before he was arrested last year in Uganda on terrorism charges, Al Amin Kimathi was hailed as an outspoken activist who challenged East African governments to conduct lawful counterterrorism operations. The Kenyan human rights defender had gone to Uganda…
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Case Raises Concern That Prosecution Is Politically Motivated

(Kampala) ­­- Prominent Kenyan human rights activist Al-Amin Kimathi is among 17 defendants whose cases were sent to the Ugandan High Court on November 30, 2010, for trial for the July bombings in Kampala, Human Rights Watch said today. Another 17 were…
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(New York) – Ugandan authorities should either release a Kenyan human rights activist who is being held on terrorism charges or provide details of the charges, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today in a joint letter to the Ugandan…