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Human Rights Council 37: Mali

This UK statement was delivered at the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council during the Interactive dialogue with Independent Expert on Mali, held on 21 March 2018.

The Human Rights Council takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva
The Human Rights Council takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

The UK thanks the Independent Expert on Mali for his work and his report.

It is with regret that we find Mali in much the same position as last year. The overall pace of the peace process implementation remains too slow. The process risks stalling and all parties must commit to progress. Fully implementing the peace agreement is the best way to improve the human rights situation, re-establish civilian authority and to reduce the space for terrorists.

Restoring basic services, particularly the provision of education and health services, and improving the security essential to enable this, remain the greatest challenges. We support the Independent Expert’s call for all parties to find consensual solutions and provide Malian citizens with the peace they deserve.

We remain gravely concerned about acts of sexual violence committed by the security forces and others. The increase in violent sexual attacks by armed groups against travellers in the vicinity of Gao is particularly concerning. We urge the Government to denounce, and tackle this and other forms of violence against women, including spousal abuse and female genital mutilation.

We urge the Government and its partners to increase efforts to combat violent extremism, give urgent effect to the peace agreement, and commit to re-establish governance that promotes and protects human rights. Doing so will help the Malian Government to more effectively tackle modern slavery, including human trafficking.

Mr Independent Expert,

In the event of a renewed mandate, which areas would you prioritise, and why?

Published 21 March 2018