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ICC Note: As the independent United Nations expert completes his visit to Mali, he and others have concerns regarding the current situation in the region. Although a peace agreement is in place at the moment, fear of human rights violations remain a serious problem. With continued terrorist attacks in the north and the gradual migration to other parts of Mali, human rights violations are to follow. Religious minorities can be the most vulnerable in these situations as Islamic terrorists target their communities in a concerted effort to eliminate the ‘infidel’ in their twisted ideology. Unfortunately they also tend to have little in the area of security or protection offering themselves as soft targets. 

10/20/2015 Mali (All Africa) – Wrapping up his recent visit to Mali, a United Nations independent expert noted positive developments on the ground but stressed that the “precarious security situation” creates an environment in which violation so of the most fundamental human rights can still occur.

“The Agreement on peace and reconciliation and the extension of the mandate of MINUSMA [UN Integrated Multidimensional Stabilization Mission] are encouraging signs,” said Suliman Baldo, the Independent Expert on human rights in the country, on the final day of his 10-19 October visit.

“I call the various parties to seize this opportunity to establish a lasting peace, with respect for everyone’s rights,” he added.

The UN expert stressed, however, that significant challenges remain in terms of human rights, including the recent violations of the peace agreement and the ceasefire by the politico-military movements, giving rise to violations of human rights.

“Terrorist attacks are rising in the north and gradually extending towards the centre and south of the country, targeting in particular Malian security forces, MINUSMA, humanitarian actors and civilian passenger transport and trade” explained Mr. Baldo, also emphasizing that international drug trafficking, transnational economic crimes and local traffic networks were fuelling the violence.

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