Annual Report: Mali 2013

May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Mali 2013

View More Research

  • In February, four people, including the President and Vice-President of the Azawad Women's Assembly, both women, were arrested in the Kidal region and transferred to Bamako. They were all released in April in exchange for 13 people whom the MNLA were holding.

Abuses by the military junta

Extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and torture

In May, after an attempted counter-coup, soldiers and police officers loyal to former President Touré were tortured and extrajudicially killed or were victims of enforced disappearance. Two soldiers were stabbed to death at Kati military camp near Bamako by army personnel loyal to the junta. More than 20 others were victims of enforced disappearance after being abducted from their cells. They remained unaccounted for at the end of the year. Some of the soldiers and police officers were subjected to sexual abuse and held in harsh conditions during their interrogation and detention.

Arbitrary detention

The military junta arrested and arbitrarily detained political opponents who protested against their coup.

  • In March, the junta arrested several politicians, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga, and the Minister of Territorial Administration, Kafougouna Koné. They were detained, some for 20 days, without charge at Kati military camp.
  • In April, several opponents of the military junta, including former Prime Minister Modibo Sidibé and former Minister of Finance Soumaila Cissé, were arrested and taken to Kati military camp. They were released without charge within two days.

Freedom of the press

From March, the military junta targeted journalists to prevent them from reporting news.

  • In March, five journalists were arrested in Bamako by soldiers and taken to Kati military camp before being released a few days later. Another journalist, Omar Ouahmane, a French national working for the radio station France culture, was arrested, ill-treated and received death threats by soldiers loyal to the military junta.
  • In June, a privately owned TV station, Africable TV, was censored as it was about to broadcast an interview with an MNLA official.

Abuses by armed groups

Arbitrary killings and torture

Armed groups committed serious infringements of international humanitarian law by torturing and executing Malian soldiers taken prisoner.

  • In January, Malian soldiers taken prisoner during an ambush at Tilemci were tied up and beaten with rifle butts.
  • In January, dozens of Malian soldiers were shot and others had their throats slit by members of Ansar Eddin after being taken prisoner in Aguelhoc.

Violence against women and girls

During and after the seizing of the north by armed groups, a number of women and young girls were raped, sometimes gang-raped, by members of these groups. Most of the women were abducted at home or in the street and taken to a military camp.

  • At the end of March and beginning of April, several women were assaulted and raped in Gao as they were getting food supplies at the Office of Food Security (OPAM).
  • In April in Ménaka, women belonging to the Bambara ethnic group were reportedly targeted and raped by MNLA members.
  • In late July and early August, six women were attacked in Gossi by several members of an armed group on motorcycles. The women were robbed and three were captured and raped.

Corporal punishment

Islamist armed groups inflicted corporal punishment and deliberate and arbitrary killings on people who refused to comply with the new rules and behaviours they imposed according to their interpretation of Islamic law.

  • In June, members of the MUJAO flogged people smoking in Bourem.
  • In July, a man in Timbuktu was accused of drinking alcohol and was given 40 strokes of the cane by members of Ansar Eddin.
  • In July, members of Ansar Eddin in Aguelhoc publicly stoned to death an unmarried couple who had had a child.

A number of people accused of theft or robberies had limbs amputated following sham trials.