Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

The Battle for Venezuela: Pressure mounting on Maduro ahead of sunday's vote

Read more

ENCORE!

Actress Helen Mirren on TV honours and tackling sexism

Read more

FOCUS

Teething problems for French President Macron's party

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Libya's Haftar vows to deal with terrorists 'through weapons'

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

USA: Fierce battle over Kentucky's only abortion clinic

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Socks and selfies deep': Canadians slam Rolling Stone's Trudeau tribute

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Panda-monium! French zoo awaiting rare panda birth

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Can Facebook keep growing its earnings?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Qatar 'financing and supporting terrorism', Egypt FM says

Read more

Africa

Human Rights Watch demand soldiers be prosecuted for abuses in Mali

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-02-22

Human Rights Watch urged the Malian government on Thursday to investigate and prosecute soldiers accused of committing torture, summary executions and other atrocities in the fight against Islamist militants in the country’s north.

Human Rights Watch called on Mali's government Thursday to track down and prosecute soldiers accused of committing atrocities including torture and summary executions in the war against Islamic extremists.

Malian authorities should "urgently investigate and prosecute soldiers responsible for torture, summary executions, and enforced disappearances of suspected Islamist rebels and alleged collaborators," the New York-based organisation said in a statement.

HRW said its investigations had found that since mid-January, when the French-led offensive against armed Islamists in Mali's desert began, Malian troops had carried out abuses against members of the Tuareg, Arab and Fula communities.

"The Malian government needs to act now to put a stop to these abuses by their soldiers and appropriately punish those responsible," HRW added. "Mali's international partners should bolster accountability efforts and civilian protection in the north to help prevent further abuses."

Corinne Dufka, a senior researcher in HRW's Africa Division, cited the case of two young Fulas accused of being fighters for the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), one of the Islamist groups that occupied north Mali for some 10 months.

"Soldiers forced the men into an army vehicle and drove them to the outskirts oh the village... Some minutes later, villagers heard several gunshots... The two men have not been heard from since."

In another case in February soldiers allegedly detained a 43-year-old Tuareg man. "He was severely beaten, burned on his abdomen and genitals with cigarettes, partially strangled and then forced to ingest through his nose a toxic substance that severely burned his oesophagus," Dufka added.

The war in northern Mali -- an area larger than France -- has sent 22,000 civilians, mostly pale-skinned Tuaregs and Arabs who say they are afraid of reprisals by the Malian army, HRW said.

The organisation called on Malian authorities "to address abuses by the military and address urgent civilian protection needs within the current security vacuum".

The restoration of security in northern Mali should mean that everybody is protected, whatever their ethnic background, Dufka said.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-02-21

  • MALI

    Malian army seeks out remaining rebels in Gao

    Read more

  • MALI

    French soldier killed in northern Mali, Hollande says

    Read more

  • MALI

    French air strikes rock Gao in wake of street battles

    Read more

COMMENT(S)