An official website of the United States government

Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Mali
March 21, 2017

Statement by the United States of America
as delivered by Barbara Paoletti

Human Rights Council 34th session
Geneva, March 21, 2017

Thank you Mr. President.

The United States thanks the Independent Expert for his report and recommendations.  We agree that the human rights situation in Mali is of grave concern, particularly as violence continues and progress on implementing the peace accord is slow.

Over the last year, the human rights situation in Mali has not improved.  Despite the peace accord signed in June 2015 between the government, the Platform of northern militias, and the Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA), violent conflict among these forces continued throughout the northern region.  Individuals have reportedly been killed, unlawfully captured and held, sexually abused, and tortured as part of the ongoing violent clashes between Platform and CMA fighters.

There were several reports that the government or its agents had committed extrajudicial killings.  The government made little or no effort to investigate, prosecute, or punish officials who reportedly committed these killings, whether in the security forces or elsewhere in the government.  We share the Independent Expert’s concerns about impunity.

Providing accountability and access to justice for all Malians, including the victims of violence, human rights violations, and abuses in the north and increasingly in the center of the country, will be important for achieving durable peace.

The United States believes that accountability for violations and abuses and for any actions intended to derail the peace process is essential for progress to be made in Mali.

Questions:  What actions can be taken to encourage parties to the peace accord to be accountable to their commitments and end violence?  What additional actions can the Government of Mali take to document violations and abuses and hold those responsible to account?

Thank you Mr. President.