UN Sounds Alarm About Mali's Inability To Protect Citizens From Violence

UN Sounds Alarm About Mali's Inability to Protect Citizens From Violence

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 06th August, 2021) The people of Mali get increasingly subjected to violence from both rebels and the army amid the government's failure to ensure proper protection, a UN independent expert on the human rights situation in Mali, Alioune Tine, said on Friday.

Tine made the statement following an 11-day official visit to the Western African country, as quoted by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"A weakened and powerless state is having difficulty assuming its proper role of protecting civilian populations in the face of armed groups that are swarming throughout the country. It is disturbing that civilian populations are also suffering violence from the Malian defense and security forces that are supposed to protect them," Tine said.

The expert said the deterioration of the security situation in Mali has "exceeded a critical threshold," while the Malian people have "serious doubts" about the political will of their government to take concrete steps to guarantee the security of the people, especially in conflict zone.

"This absolutely must change.

It takes a national leap of faith and an unwavering commitment by the Malian authorities, with the active support of their partners, to restore the authority of the state and ensure the protection of civilian populations," the UN expert said.

In August 2020, a group of Malian soldiers started a mutiny at the Kati military base near the capital city of Bamako. Insurgents kidnapped several ministers and high-ranking military officials, including former President Ibrahim Boubakar Keita, who later dissolved the government and parliament.

Last September, the parties agreed on a transition period that would last for 18 months, leading to the parliamentary elections. Bah N'Daw, a former defense minister, was appointed as interim president. However, in late May, Mali saw its second coup, as Goita ousted the new president and prime minister for allegedly violating the transitional charter. He was appointed as interim president by the constitutional court.

Simultaneously, Mali is suffering from the insurgency of various armed groups, especially in the northern areas bordering Burkina Faso and Niger.