A UN Security Council delegation is expected Saturday in the Malian capital Bamako to pressure the transitional government to allow a civilian administration to take over after two coups d’état in this African country of the West in less than a year.
Mali, a poor and landlocked country home to at least 20 ethnic groups, fights jihadist attacks and inter-communal violence. Since 2012, the Islamist insurgency has spread to central Mali and spread to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.
The conflict has left thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced, despite military interventions by the United Nations and France.
The UN delegation includes representatives from China, India, Russia and the United States and is due to visit Niger on Sunday.
The 15 representatives will meet “senior members of Mali’s transitional government and civil society groups working to strengthen Mali’s democratic institutions,” according to a US statement.
“The visit will help the delegation to better understand Mali’s political and security challenges and ensure that the process of returning the country to a democratically elected civilian government by February 2022 continues as planned,” according to the US mission to Mali. ‘UN.
Human Rights Watch called on the United Nations ahead of Saturday’s talks to pressure Mali to investigate reports of summary executions and disappearances allegedly committed by security forces.
“Malian authorities should investigate a wave of suspected summary executions, enforced disappearances and incommunicado detention by government security forces,” HRW said in a statement Friday evening.
The New York-based group also called for investigations into abuses committed by all parties to the conflict in Mali. HRW gave the example of 14 men last seen in September in custody by security forces and who have since “disappeared or are held incommunicado”.
He also noted the discovery of “the bodies of three men who were allegedly executed after their arrest by soldiers in early October” near a military camp in the central town of Sofara.
“Mali’s transitional government should not stand back as its soldiers are linked to a wave of abuses,” said Corine Dufka, director of HRW Sahel.
(AXADLETM with AFP)