ICC aware of Malian abuses

Jan. 29, 2013 at 2:10 PM
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THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The prosecutor at the International Criminal Court said she was alarmed by reports that Malian forces committed abuses in their fight against northern rebels.

ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda reminded the central government that her office has jurisdiction over all human rights violations committed since January 2012.

"My office is aware of reports that Malian forces may have committed abuses in recent days, in central Mali," she said in a statement.

French forces responded to a Malian request to help thwart the advance of rebels from the north of the country. Control over the north of the country was lost to foreign and al-Qaida fighters following a coup in early 2012.

EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs committed $67.2 million in aid for the African-led International Support Mission to Mali.

"By providing a substantial financial support to AFISMA, the European Union is sending a strong message that we are serious about actively supporting Mali in maintaining its unity and territorial integrity and bringing back peace and stability to the region," he said in a statement.

The lawless state of north Mali has sparked concerns the region could descend into militancy. The U.S. and British governments have pledged their support for the French intervention.

Mali is a former French colony.

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