Mali: the ICC must act and send a reminder that no impunity for human rights violations will be tolerated

26 May, 2012 | Press Releases

Bamako, Mali, 26 May 2012

In a statement released last month, the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court declared that it was closely following the situation in Mali since clashes erupted in January. It also indicated that it was considering the possibility of commencing, on its own initiative,a preliminary investigation in that country, in accordance with Articles 15 and 53(1) of the Rome Statute.

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:

“We welcome the fact that the Prosecutor’s Office of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has decided to consider the opening of a preliminary investigation to determine whether war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed in the territory of the Republic of Mali, since the outbreak of the severe crisis that has gripped the country.

“Various sources, including senior officials of the United Nations, reported that war crimes have been committed by various armed groups occupying the northern part of the country, in particular with reference to the massacres perpetrated in Aguel hoc against Malian loyalist soldiers, the recruitment of child soldiers, and the murder, kidnapping and rape of civilians.

“To those who have decided to take up arms to make their voice heard, we strongly reiterate that only short memories forget that neither weapons nor violence ever solved a problem; quite the contrary, they create others with incalculable consequences. As a State Party to the ICC, Mali is committed to the struggle for the affirmation of justice and the rule of law and to ensure that any serious violations of human rights do not remain unpunished within its territory or elsewhere.

“As human rights activists and strong supporters of the rule of law and justice, we are very concerned by the crisis that threatens to plunge the country into widespread violence. The people of Mali aspire to the restoration of the rule of law and to respect for its democratic aspirations. Those who try to profit from the current situation of confusion and instability by violating these basic principles and engage in criminal acts should know that the world is watching them and that no stone will go unturned, whether by Malian courts or international, to ensure that they are prosecuted and punished.

“Mali, today more than ever, needs pressure from the international community to curb those who have committed and deliberately continue to commit crimes in violation of international law, and those who command them, by reminding them with firmness that no impunity will be tolerated and that they will be held accountable for their horrendous acts. ”

Press release in French

For more information, contact Nicola Giovannini on or +32-2-548-39 15.