The worst human rights crisis to face Mali in 50 years. That’s a pretty forbidding statement. But given the scale of killings, rape and number of displacements of Malians as a result of fighting in the north, it’s pretty accurate.
Hundreds of thousands of people have had to flee their homes in northern Mali as a result of the fighting in the region. Dozens have been arbitrarily detained, unlawfully killed or been subjected to sexual violence.
A delegation of Amnesty researchers recently visited Bamako and the refugee sites, in neighbouring Niger and have today published a new report revealing their findings. Here are a few of them:
All parties to the conflict are believed to be committing human rights violations and abuses.
- Malian soldiers beat and then unlawfully executed three unarmed people accused of spying.
- Malian soldiers taken prisoner by armed groups have been summarily executed and some were ill-treated.
- Amnesty found evidence of the presence of child soldiers within the ranks of the armed Tuareg and Islamists groups who took control of the north of the country.
And the intense situation shows little sign of being abated. The Guardian's Afua Hirsch today reports that attempts by Malian insurgent to impose sharia law in the north have sparked protests.
This is an area which Amnesty will be closely monitoring.
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