Concerns linger for Mali

ISTANBUL, Turkey, May 31 (UPI) -- An international federation of human rights groups adopted a resolution in Turkey condemning serious violations of the laws of war in Mali.

The Malian government in January asked for military support from France to help fight al-Qaida and nomadic rebel groups that seized territory following a 2012 coup.


Al-Qaida was accused of violations of human rights through a strict interpretation of Islamic law. Several cultural heritage sites in the area were razed by militants.

The International Federation for Human Rights, known by its French initials FIDH, adopted a resolution during a meeting in Turkey calling on all armed groups and militias in Mali to disarm and respect international human rights laws.

The resolution "calls on authorities to take all necessary measures to ensure the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes, including within the Malian army if required."

The U.N. World Food Program estimated that at least 74,000 people fled fighting in Mali to Mauritania since the 2012 coup.

"These people cannot yet return home and so they will continue to depend on humanitarian assistance in the near future," U.N. refugee agency envoy Nada Merheb said in a statement.


The European and French governments sponsored a donors' conference for Mali in May, securing $4 billion in pledges.

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