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Mali: UN expert to assess critical human rights picture amid worsening security situation

The UN Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Mali, Suliman Baldo, will visit the country from 12 to 16 March as the security situation and human rights conditions deteriorate.

"My concerns during this visit will centre on the establishment of a sustainable strategy to tackle the ongoing serious human rights abuses and violations, as well as the worrying humanitarian situation,” said Mr. Baldo.

“The human rights approach demands that there be a victim-centred response and I would like to see if this is happening in practice. I would also like to see whether respect for human rights is being integrated into plans for a G5 Sahel regional joint force.”

He continued: "Last September the UN Security Council designated acts that violate international human rights or humanitarian law as criteria for triggering targeted sanctions, and I would like to evaluate the impact of this resolution."

Mali faces a huge security challenge, including the expansion of the activities of violent extremist groups.

"I would like to see if preparations for the presidential election, the first round of which is scheduled for 29 July, have begun in order to ensure that free, fair and transparent elections will be held,” Mr. Baldo added.

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

He will present a full report, including information from this visit, to the Human Rights Council later this month.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).