Report details human rights violations in Mali

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Women in northern Mali

The UN Human Rights Office has welcomed the announcement that the International Criminal Court will open an investigation into the situation in Mali.

It says the crisis in the West African country has resulted in numerous human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, rape and torture.

These findings have been documented in a report published this week following the deployment of a human rights mission to Mali and three neighbouring countries in November 2012.

The report shows violations have occurred in northern Mali, which has been taken over by Islamic extremist groups, and in areas under government control.

Rupert Colville is Human Rights spokesperson in Geneva.

"Rapes of women and girls, at times in front of family members and often apparently carried out on an ethnic basis, have been repeatedly used in the North to intimidate people and break any form of resistance. Young girls, sometimes as young as 12 or 13, are reported to have been forcibly married to members of Ansar Dine, MUJAO and AQMI, the Al-Qaida au Maghreb Islamique, and gang-raped for days on end." (26 secs)

Colville adds that the report highlights growing ethnic tensions, which raises serious concerns.

The UN Human Rights Office is also calling for the start of a reconciliation process in Mali to address current human rights challenges and long-standing unresolved issues. 

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’23″

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