Malian courts show courage, rights group says

Dec. 2, 2013 at 12:04 PM
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PARIS, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Malian courts are showing their willingness to make a tough decision in the fight against impunity, an international rights consortium said Monday.

The Malian courts in November agreed to take up a case against 20 soldiers, including coup leader Gen. Amadou Sanogo, for their alleged role in the abduction of more than a dozen Malian soldiers. The abductions took place after a failed attempt to remove Sanogo from power a month after he took control of the government in an April 2012 coup.

Karim Lahidji, president of the International Federation for Human Rights, said Malian authorities need to support the judicial process.

"These judicial investigations and summons, in a sensitive case, constitutes a strong signal of the courts to fight against impunity in Mali," he said in a statement from Paris. "The authorities must support this process and help ensure that Mali regains peace and security."

Mali is struggling to restore political order and national security in the wake of the 2012 upheavals. Its government in January called for military support from former colonial power France to help fight al-Qaida and nomadic fighters that took control over the north of the country last year.

The U.N. mission estimates about 500,000 Malians were displaced by conflict and 1.3 million people depend on food assistance.

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