The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) is closely monitoring the human rights situation in the Kidal region in the Republic of Mali.
The Commission notes with dismay the worsening security situation marked recently by an escalation of attacks in the Kidal region by armed groups, in particular the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA).
The Commission is deeply concerned by the attack on the Governor’s Office in Kidal on Saturday, 17 May 2014 by this armed group with the support of other groups, which led to the death of several people – including officials of the Governor’s Office, Malian civil servants, civilians and members of the Malian armed forces, injured members of the MINUSMA forces and led to the destruction of property.
The Commission condemns the ongoing violence and insecurity in the northern part of Mali, and the acts of violence which promote an atmosphere of terror and result in the displacement of populations.
The Commission strongly condemns this cycle of human rights violations committed by the MNLA, including serious violations of the right to life and the physical integrity of the population, violations which are marked by summary executions, the killing of civilians and members of the Malian armed forces, assault and battery, and destruction of the property of United Nations and humanitarian personnel.
The Commission urges the MNLA and other armed groups to put an immediate end to the violations and attacks against innocent civilians. The Commission appeals to the armed groups to honour their commitments under the Ouagadougou Agreement of 18 June 2013 signed between the Government and armed groups.
The Commission calls upon the Government of Mali to take the necessary measures to put an end to impunity and ensure that the perpetrators of these attacks and other acts of violence are brought to justice.
The Commission recalls its resolutions ACHPR/Res.209 (EXT.OS/XI) 2012, ACHPR/Res.210 (EXT.OS/XI) 2012 and ACHPR/Res.217 (LI) 2012 on the human rights situation in northern Mali in which it condemned the human rights violations committed by armed groups, calling on these groups to stop fighting and to engage in constructive dialogue towards an end to the conflict.
The Commission further urges the Malian authorities to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety and protection of the population throughout the country and to preserve the territorial integrity of Mali.
The Commission calls upon ECOWAS, the African Union and the international community to continue to support the Government of Mali towards consolidating the rule of law and restoring security and lasting peace in northern Mali, especially in the Kidal region.
Banjul, 22 May 2014