from RUDD KONTE in Bamako, Mali
BAMAKO, (CAJ News) – AT least 580 civilians have been killed during clashes between rival ethnic groups in Mali since the beginning of the year.
The violence features militia and self-defence groups from the Peulh and Dogon communities, especially in the central regions of the volatile West African country.
Scores of citizens have been kidnapped and forced to join community-based militias.
Multitudes of citizens have been displaced after homes were burnt and properties looted.
The national army and rebel groups are accused of worsening the human rights abuses.
“This needs to stop,” Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights said.
She called on the government of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and the national forces to restore authority across the West African country of 20 million people.
Bachelet called on the government to ensure the prosecution of all perpetrators.
“People need justice, redress and reparations,” the envoy said.
The envoy called on Malian authorities to establish investigations into all alleged human rights violations and abuses and to ensure proper accountability processes are established.
“This is the only way to reverse this trend of continuing violence,” Bachelet added.
UN deployed a peacekeeping mission in Mali in 2013 following an uprising by Muslim rebels.
It is the UN’s most dangerous peacekeeping mission with more than 200 peacekeepers killed since deployment.
– CAJ News