Crisis in Mali

Amnesty International is calling to avoid civilian losses in Mali

Tuesday 15 January 2013

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Title: Amnesty International is calling to avoid civilian losses in Mali.

Source: AFP, dated January 15, 2013.

Language: French.

Type of document: Reports.

Country: Mali, the Sahel.

Theme: Crisis in Mali.

Keywords: crisis Mali, Sahel, Islamists, human rights violations, Amnesty International.

Paule Rigaud, Joint Director of the Africa program in Amnesty International (AI), named in a communiqué said “involved forces in armed attacks should prohibit indiscriminate bombings and must take necessary steps to avoid civil losses”.

Continuation of the bombings.

The Mali army, with the support of France, launched an offensive against armed Islamist groups on January 11, to impede the conquest of cities in the south of the country. The French President, François Hollande announced that new attacks launched during the early hours of the morning have attained their objective.

He also informed that the number of French troops involved in the operation was 750, but that this figure will increase and then later on, as soon as possible, leave the place to the African troops. Paris will maintain land and air troops, said Hollande, who thinks that the deployment of African troops shall take at least a week.

To avoid indiscriminate bombings.

On Monday, the French army bombed positions held by armed groups to the north, in Gao and Kidal. At least six civilians were killed, two days before, during a fight to hold control over the city of Konna, according to Amnesty International.

« The international community has the responsibility of preventing a new wave of human rights violations during this new stage of the conflict”, said Ms. Rigaud. Amnesty International urges international community to support the immediate deployment of human rights observers. These observers shall be on the alert, in particular, to watch for the use of children soldiers, for the protection of the rights of children, to detect sexual violations and for the protection of civilians.

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