Since the adoption on 20 December 2012 of United Nations Security Council’s resolution 2085, approving the deployment of an international support mission in Mali (AFISMA) and the training on human rights of Malian security forces, the situation has evolved. French and Malian armies have engaged a military intervention and have widely deployed in Northern Mali.
This evolution has involved reflection and debates within United Nations Security Council, ECOWAS and African Union, on the adaptation of mechanisms provided by resolution 2085 to determine the procedure and the structure of the various security forces and mechanisms planned to support Malian authorities in the current crisis.
Amongst the first decisions, States members of the African Union, complying with ECOWAS’ decision, approved the sending of more military forces and the deployment of human rights observers, in coordination with the African Commission for Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR).
In the meantime, Malian authorities adopted a roadmap for the transition, scheduling in particular the holding of general elections on 31 July 2013.
The donors’ conference held in Addis-Abeba on 29 January has agreed granting over 455 million dollars that will be used to cover AFISMA’s spending, restructure Malian military and provide for humanitarian aspect of this crisis. This amounts to half of the budget calculated by ECOWAS for this occasion.
The European Union has committed to deliver humanitarian assistance and deploy a mission in charge of contributing to the training of Malian military, including on international humanitarian law, civilians protection and human rights. Furthermore, EU has planned financial and logistical support for the deployment of AFISMA, the gradual recovery of development aid, paired up with concrete measures of assistance in the implementation of the roadmap.
FIDH, its member organisation in Mali, AMDH, and UIDH welcome commitments made by Mali and international community for a solution to the crisis in Mali and call them for the implementation of a genuine and effective coordination of their interventions for the purpose of ensuring the respect of international humanitarian law and human rights, helping the strengthening of those rights and contributing to the fight against impunity.
Resolving the conflict
FIDH, AMDH and UIDH call for the utmost vigilance on still-existing risks of terrorist or acts of destabilisation coming from armed groups, perpetration of human rights’ violations or political instability as a result of these potential attacks in Mali and the sub-region. Our organisations call upon all stakeholders in the region and international bodies to ensure that their fight against terrorism complies with the respect of human rights, launches democratic processes and goes along with development politics able to combat. extremisms
Our organisations welcome the results that came out of the donors’ conference. We call upon the international community to quickly decide of the structure for the coordination of their financial support to Mali. We also encourage them to secure the remaining funds needed to ensure a complete support to the stabilisation of Mali.
Composition, mandate and coordination of armed interventions
As part of the deployment of military forces of many countries and authorities, our organisations call for:
- the implementation of a vetting mechanism to ensure that no individual responsible for human rights violations is incorporated in this framework ;
- an effective mandate and necessary operational means are established to ensure the protection of civilian population and human rights defenders ;
- a clear and unified command structure, integrating a direct communication with civilian population to ensure access of humanitarians and independent observers coming from civil society to conflict-affected areas.
Training of military forces to human rights
Our organisations welcome decisions taken by Malian authorities, and supported by the United Nations Security Council, allowing the training of Malian military forces on human rights and international humanitarian law. We also welcome as the commitment made by the European Union to contribute to this training through the deployment of an EU Training Mission (EUTM). In this context our organisations call for:
- the United Nations, the African Union and the ECOWAS to ensure that all troops deployed receive a training on the protection of human rights and international humanitarian law ;
- trainers to be legal experts with field experience of prevention, monitoring or treatment of human rights violations in time of armed conflict ;
- trainings to actually contribute, at each step of interventions (planning, commanding, running and monitoring); the establishment of guarantees allowing prevention, monitoring, remediation and reporting of violations human rights violations ;
- trainings to go along with regular public reporting (with short intervals between reports to allow an effective monitoring of operations) on training activities carried out, measures taken and results achieved on human rights’ protection.
Human rights’ observers
Our organisations welcome the announcement of the deployment of United Nations and African Union observers on the ground, in charge of investigating on the evolution of the human rights situation in Mali. We particularly call for these observers to:
- be deployed in a sufficient number to cover the entire territory and all operations ;
- work under a common management, in close cooperation with trainers of military forces ;
- monitor, document and, if required, denounce human rights’ violations committed by all parties ;
- be able to investigate on human rights’ violations that occurred on the entire Malian territory, beyond provisions made by resolution 2085 ;
- accompany Malian authorities in their work of prevention, documentation, repression and redress of human rights’ violations and in the preparation of the justice, truth and reconciliation process as determined in the roadmap, in close cooperation with the International Criminal Court ;
- grant a particular attention to gender-based crimes ;
- work in close cooperation with civil society, in particular Malian human rights’ organisations.
To complete the battery of measures defining missions granted to military forces involved in operations and in order to reduce the risk of human rights violations, our organisations call upon the United Nations Security Council to announce that actors alleged to be responsible for human rights violations and who would refuse to cooperate with authorities and mechanisms for fighting impunity, may be subject to individual sanctions.
Our organisations welcome the adoption by Malian authorities of a roadmap for the transition and the commitment made to hold general elections in the near future. We also welcome the support allowed by the multidisciplinary presence of the United Nations in Bamako and bilateral engagements taken by other States of the international community, in favour of the establishment of the rule of law and the implementation of the roadmap for the transition.
In this context, FIDH, AMDH and UIDH urge Malian authorities, with the support of the international community, to immediately start the necessary preparations for the organisation, observation and certification of the announced general elections, in order to hold free, independent and transparent elections that would ensure the inclusive participation of the Malian population, including refugees and displaced people. These preparations particularly involve the overhaul of the electoral register and the training of independent observers.
Our organisations acknowledge, as written in the roadmap, that a necessary part of the political transition in Mali is the dialogue between parties in conflict. We call upon authorities to establish a dialogue framework with all legitimate representatives of Northern populations and non-terrorist armed groups, in addition with local elected officials and civil society.
We also call international community to support the establishment of the Dialogue and Reconciliation National Commission as provided for in the roadmap, giving expertise and technical support to ensure that this commission shall be representative, transparent and inclusive.
International and independent monitoring of the evolution of the human rights’ situation
Lastly, our organisations call upon the United Nations Security Council and Human Rghts Council, to establish an international and independent monitoring on the evolution of human rights in Mali. This mechanism would ensure a follow-up of recommendations addressed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to Malian authorities, coordinate recommendations of all observers deployed on the ground, support the Malian government in the implementation of the roadmap and report to the Security Council and Human Rights Council.