Annual Report: Mali 2013

May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Mali 2013

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  • In August, a Tuareg livestock farmer accused of stealing cattle had his right hand amputated.
  • In September, five people accused of robbery each had their right foot and left hand amputated.

Child soldiers

Parties on both sides of the conflict recruited child soldiers.

In the government-controlled area of the country, self-defence militias recruited and trained children with the support of the authorities ahead of a planned offensive to regain control of the north.

Children were also recruited by the armed groups that took control of the north of the country. They were often posted at checkpoints to search passers-by.

Right to education and culture

The right to education in the north was undermined by AQIM who forbade the teaching of French in schools and the mixing of boys and girls.

  • In March, all schools and libraries in Kidal were burned and looted apart from two madrasas (Islamic schools).

The right to culture was undermined as armed Islamist groups destroyed historic mausoleums. They claimed it was to put an end to the cult of saints.

  • In May, AQIM members, supported by Ansar Eddin, began a series of destructions by desecrating the mausoleum of Muslim saint Sidi (Mahmoud Ben) Amar in Timbuktu.

Acts of terrorism and abductions

At the end of the year, 14 hostages were being held by armed groups, including AQIM, in the north.

  • Seven Algerian nationals, including the Algerian Consul in Gao, were kidnapped in April by members of MUJAO. Three of them were released in July.
  • In July, three people, two Spanish and one Italian, kidnapped by members of MUJAO in Algeria in October 2011, were released near Gao, reportedly in exchange for the release of three Islamists in neighbouring countries.
  • On 20 November, Gilberto Rodriguez Leal, a French national, was kidnapped in western Mali. His abduction was claimed by MUJAO.

Death penalty

Bamako's Court of Assizes sentenced 10 people to death during the year. Four were convicted of criminal association, robbery, conspiracy and illegal possession of firearms, and two were convicted of complicity in murder.

Amnesty International visits/reports

  • Amnesty International delegates visited Mali in April, July and August/September.
  • Mali: Five months of crisis – armed rebellion and military coup
  • (AFR 37/001/2012)
  • Mali: “We haven't seen our cellmates since.” Enforced disappearances and torture of soldiers and police officers opposed to the junta
  • (AFR 37/004/2012)
  • Mali: Civilians bear the brunt of the conflict (AFR 37/007/2012)