UN Independent Expert undertakes his first mission before the start of the election campaign

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The Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali, Alioune Tine, will visit Mali, in the context of growing insecurity before the scheduled elections for the 29 July 2018.

“My focus will be on this pre-election period and on human rights issues. I am aware that the official campaign for the presidential elections is to begin on 7th July 2018, and the vote will take place on 29th July this year. I want to see if the measures are in place for the elections to be held in good conditions,” said the expert.

The visit comes against a backdrop of continuing serious violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in the centre and north of the country, which continue to tarnish efforts to protect civilians and assist victims.

I am concerned by reports that intercommunal violence in the central and northern region of Mali has escalated dramatically

“I am concerned by reports that intercommunal violence in the central and northern region of Mali has escalated dramatically. Added to this is the expansion of the activities of violent extremist groups that terrorise populations with kidnappings, targeted killings and other cruel treatment,” said the expert.

“I intend to use this opportunity to gather information on anti-terrorist initiatives taken by various actors and to assess their impact on the promotion and protection of human rights. I note that another step in the response to these activities of violent extremists is being prepared and I would like to learn about these initiatives.

 He added “I would also like to see if the Security Council resolution of nine months ago, establishing a targeted sanctions regime, has had a deterrent effect. Acts that violate international human rights law or international humanitarian law have been designated as a criterion for the targeted sanctions regime,”

During his mission, the Independent Expert will meet with the Malian authorities, the diplomatic corps, representatives of the Integrated Mission for Stabilization of Mali (MINUSMA) and UN agencies, human rights defenders, and civil society organisations.

The information gathered will be used to update the presentation to be made by the independent expert to the Human Rights Council in March 2019, when the report is being released.