Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Mali (S/2014/267)
The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolutions 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009), 1960 (2010), 1998 (2011) and 2068 (2012). It provides information on the six grave violations against children in Mali covering the period from January 2012 to December 2013.
In his report, the Secretary-General highlights grave violations against children committed by parties to the conflict, including Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, the Mouvement pour l’unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l’Ouest, the Mouvement national pour la libération de l’Azawad, Ansar Dine and, to a lesser extent, the Malian Defence and Security Forces and pro-Government militias. Violations were mainly sexual violence, killing and maiming, recruitment and use of children, and attacks on schools and hospitals. Children were also detained for their alleged association with armed groups. The most affected regions were Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu.
The Secretary-General notes that the end of the conflict and the process of progressive stabilization of northern Mali contributed to a decrease in the number of grave violations recorded. He also indicates that the protection needs of children affected by the six grave violations are no longer as high as at the onset of the crisis, throughout 2012 and the first months of 2013. Despite the overall improvement in the political and security situation, however, children continue to remain vulnerable and at risk of violations, particularly in the North.
Important challenges for the monitoring and reporting of grave violations persist and information available before and after the establishment of the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism remains limited.