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Mali reconciliation efforts must be supported, says UN

GENEVA (19 August 2019) The Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali, Alioune Tine, has welcomed reconciliation initiatives launched in central Mali by traditional and religious leaders, civil society members and the local authorities.

“The importance of such initiatives cannot be stressed enough in the current context, including in light of a UNICEF warning issued on 13 August which underlines the disproportionate impact that intercommunal violence has had on children, with a dramatic increase in the number killed so far in 2019,” Tine said.

“The recent public report by the Human Rights and Protection Division of the UN force in Mali, MINUSMA, on events in the Dogon village of Sobane Da has also emphasised the needless death, destruction and displacement of civilians caused by such incidents,” the expert said, referring to an attack on 9 June in which 35 people were reported to have been killed.

The Independent Expert stressed that the reconciliation process was an encouraging development. He noted that it had been boosted by Prime Minister Boubou Cissé’s recent visits to central Mali.

“This process should also contribute to ending impunity and promoting justice and reconciliation. It must be supported in whatever way possible by all concerned, including in particular by relevant regional and sub-regional bodies, as well as by the international community,” said Tine.

The Independent Expert stressed that the use of arms was not the way to resolve the Malian crisis. “Progress can be made only by protecting human rights alongside development, together with efforts to obtain peace and security,” he said.

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