Mali: the military intervention was necessary, but now it should be a shared responsibility of the international community

Brussels-Rome-New York, 25 January 2013


 

Statement by Demba Traoré*, Secretary-General of the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, and Niccolo’ Figa-Talamanca, Secretary-General of No Peace Without Justice:
 
“At the request of the Malian President, France has taken responsibility by engaging in a military intervention to support the Malian loyalist forces in halting the offensive of armed Islamist groups towards southern Mali and to prevent the collapse of the Malian State.
 
“As human rights activists and strong supporters of the rule of law and justice, we commend France’s willingness to take action where the international community seemed to be content with waiting until it was too late. We now look forward to the international community sharing this responsibility and ensuring the effective and timely implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2085 in all its dimensions: political, security and humanitarian. In particular, all efforts should be undertaken for the restoration of the constitutional order based on the rule of law.
 
"We continue to be very concerned by the severe crisis that threatens to plunge Mali into chaos and widespread violence. War crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed by various armed groups occupying the northern part of the country, including the recruitment of child soldiers, destruction of religious buildings and the murder, kidnapping and rape of civilians. Deliberate attacks against civilians, including the taking of hostages, cannot become a path to power, political leverage and legitimacy.
 
“Therefore, we strongly welcome the decision by the Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of the International Criminal Court to formally request the Court's permission to begin preliminary investigation in response to the scale and relevance of the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Mali since January 2012. We also invite the Malian authorities to verify the allegations of abuses committed by members of the loyalist forces. They must ensure respect for human rights in the framework  of the reconquest of the northern part of the country. The Government of Mali itself had referred the situation in Mali to the ICC in July 2012, given the nature of the crimes and the Malian legal system’s current inability to investigate and prosecute those responsible for them. As a State Party to the ICC, Mali has so confirmed its commitment to the affirmation of justice and the rule of law and to ensure accountability for any serious violations of human rights committed within its territory. 
 
“The people of Mali seek respect for their peaceful and democratic aspirations and the protection of their fundamental human rights. Those who try to profit from the current situation of confusion and instability by violating these basic principles and engaging in criminal acts should know that the world is not passively standing by and watching but is committed to abide by its responsibility to protect.
 
“Mali, today more than ever, needs pressure from the international community to curb those who have committed and continue to commit crimes in violation of international law, and those who command them, by firmly reminding them that impunity will not be tolerated and that they will be held accountable for their horrendous acts”.

 
* Demba Traoré has been appointed Minister of Malians Abroad and African Integration in the national unity government formed in August 2012.
 
For further information, contact Nicola Giovannini on ngiovannini@npwj.org or +32-(0)2-548-3915.