Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Mali

Statement by the United States of America
Delivered by Luke Falcon Sapp

37th Session of the Human Rights Council
Geneva, March 21, 2018

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States thanks Independent Expert Baldo for his work to address Mali’s human rights challenges.

We are gravely concerned by the deterioration of the human rights situation in Mali and by reports of the ongoing of serious human rights violations and abuses.

Continued insecurity due to weak governance and delays in implementing the June 2015 peace agreement has allowed non-state armed groups, violent extremist organizations, and security forces to reportedly commit human rights violations and abuses with impunity.

Violent extremists and armed groups have committed unlawful killings, hostage taking, pillaging, hereditary slavery and other forms of forced labor and slavery, and have engaged in the recruitment and use of child soldiers.  Insecurity and violence have delayed elections, contributed to a desperate humanitarian situation, and forced the closure of public schools.

The United States is also gravely concerned by allegations of human rights violations by Malian security forces.  We welcome the government of Mali’s investigation into these allegations as well as other efforts to ensure justice and accountability.

We strongly support national and multilateral efforts to implement the peace agreement and reestablish state authority in Mali and insist that these efforts embed strong human rights protections and accountability mechanisms to ensure success.

We are very concerned that persistent delays in implementing the peace agreement have had a negative impact on civilian security in Mali.

Mr. Baldo, what more can the international community do to support the peace process in Mali?

Moreover, how can we ensure closer cooperation between yourself and MINUSMA’s Human Rights team in order to improve collaboration and increase public human rights reporting?

Thank you.