Mali facing worst rights crisis in 20 years

2012-02-18 08:00

kalahari.com

Dakar - Amnesty International said on Friday that a Tuareg offensive raging in northern Mali is causing a human rights crisis, with scores killed and thousands fleeing into neighbouring countries.

"This is the worst human rights crisis in northern Mali for 20 years," said Gaetan Mootoo, Amnesty International's researcher on West Africa in a statement.

"The rule of law has been markedly absent in this part of the country for years, and the region could be plunged into chaos if the fighting continues."

Tuareg rebels, boosted by the return of those who had been fighting for Muammar Gaddafii in Libya, launched an offensive on January 17 and have attacked several northern towns as they demand autonomy for their nomadic desert tribe.

The UN refugee agency reported Friday that more than 44 000 people have fled into neighbouring Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso.

France on Monday condemned the extrajudicial killings of some 82 people in the town of Aguelhok - about 750km north-east of the capital Bamako - accusing the killers of adopting al-Qaeda-style tactics.

The Malian army confirmed that soldiers and civilians had been summarily executed.

Amnesty said dozens of soldiers and fighters have been killed since in clashes between Malian troops and the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA).

The statement said photographs were circulated showing the corpses of Malian soldiers' with their hands tied behind their backs, but the MNLA says they were fabricated.

"In view of the contradicting stories about how the soldiers depicted in these images were killed, there is an urgent need for an independent and impartial inquiry into what happened," said Mootoo.

Amnesty said that during protests in Bamako at the beginning of February against government's handling of the conflict, Malian security forces "failed to prevent an angry mob from attacking homes and properties owned by Tuaregs and other ethnic groups..."

This led thousands of Tuaregs and others, targeted because of their lighter skin colour, to flee Bamako.

"All reports indicate that the Malian security forces were unwilling or unable to protect the Tuareg population and others targeted when the Bamako protests turned violent. The authorities must take immediate measures to ensure that anyone at risk is granted protection," Mootoo said.

Read more on:    amnesty international  |  mali  |  west africa  |  security
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The spotlight may be on you and you need to perform. This can be overwhelming and you need to stay as focussed and centred as you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.