Insecurity worsening in Mali, says UN rights expert

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A checkpoint in Kidal, Mali. Photo: MINUSMA/Blagoje Grujic

Mali is at a "critical" point in its efforts to find peace while massive human rights violations continue there, a UN expert said on Tuesday.

Addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Special Rapporteur Suliman Baldo said that armed groups in the north of the county "regularly violated" ceasefires and operated with impunity.

The rights expert called on separatist fighters to respect human rights and for the Malian government to extend justice to all civilians.

Daniel Dickinson has more.

Special Rapporteur Suliman Baldo said the threat of extremist fighters in mali was "at its highest."

He condemned recent attacks against civilians and UN peacekeepers in Bamako and Kidal.

The Sudanese rights expert told the UN Human Rights Council that the armed groups in the north of the country chose not to respect a ceasefire deal so they could extend their hold over the region.

He added that the militants also hoped to have more to bargain with at peace talks to end fighting that dates back to a 2012 coup.

Meanwhile, the government's absence in the north following an increase in attacks had bolstered the "climate of impunity"

 "The withdrawal of civilian Malian authorities from the north following the events of May 2014 particularly the lack of judges, and other employees in the criminal justice system have only enhanced the spirit of impunity that has set in in the north."

Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis in Mali continues.

The UN says that malnutrition and food insecurity threaten 1.5 million people in the country.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1'21"

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