Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Mali
Delivered by Paula Schriefer
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
Head of the U.S. Delegation to the 25th Human Rights Council
Human Rights Council 25th Session
Geneva, March 26, 2014
We thank the Independent Expert, Mr. Baldo, for his important work and his presentation. We welcome the restoration of democratic governance in Mali, and the success of the 2013 presidential and legislative elections. While the human rights situation has improved over the past year, Mali remains a fragile country facing numerous challenges relating to transitional justice, security reform, economic recovery, peace building, and reconciliation.
We note with grave concern the ongoing inter-communal violence among ethnic groups, the operations of rebel movements in the North that have resulted in arbitrary deprivation of life, and erosion of civilian security. We also are concerned about allegations of retributive acts by individual members of armed forces, including summary executions, cruel and degrading treatment of detainees, and disregard for the rule of law in combatting impunity. We urge the Government of Mali to investigate credible allegations of human rights abuses, and call on all parties to the conflict to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Mr. Baldo, with the drawdown of French troops and the persistent MINUSMA staffing gap, does Mali have the capacity to counter violent extremism, with increasing inter-communal violence, as well as institute the necessary security sector reform to combat grave human rights abuses?