Mali

The information below is based on the Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (S/2014/181) issued on 13 March 2014.

 

During the reporting period, data collection on conflict-related sexual violence
was affected by fear of reprisal, limited access to services and the fact that judicial
institutions were still in the process of redeploying to the north of the country.
During 2013, incidents of sexual violence were perpetrated by armed State and
non-State actors, including during house searches, at checkpoints and in places of
detention. Women and children, particularly internally displaced persons, reported
sexual violence in Mopti, Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal regions. In June 2013,
28 displaced girls under 17 years of age were reported to have become victims of
sexual exploitation and sexual slavery in Mopti, while women and girls displaced by
the conflict also reported resorting to prostitution. Of the total number of reported
cases of rape during 2013, 25 per cent included the rape of minors and more than
one third were reportedly carried out by more than one perpetrator. The majority of
survivors were women and girls from economically and socially disadvantaged
backgrounds.

 

With respect to non-State armed actors, several incidents of gang rape by
unidentified armed elements were reported in Timbuktu. At least four incidents
involving the abduction and gang rape of girls by rebel groups, including Ansar
Dine, have been verified by United Nations partners. Some of those cases resulted
in pregnancies and associated risks of stigma and abandonment. Other reported
incidents include the rape for the purpose of reprisal of a girl by elements of the
Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) and the rape of a woman in
Kidal by members of the Mouvement national pour la libération de l’Azawad,
reportedly for “not supporting the independence of Azawad”. A number of
allegations of sexual violence involving the Malian defence and security forces were
reported during 2013, including allegations of abductions and rape. A military
judicial process is under way for members of the defence and security forces alleged
to have committed rape during the recapture of Gao, many of whose inhabitants
were suspected of collaborating with MUJAO. There is concern, however, regarding
accountability for sexual violence crimes, as only seven survivors of such violence
pursued legal action during the reporting period and as alternative conflict
resolution mechanisms continued to be used.

 

Efforts have been made by the Government, the United Nations and partners to
build the capacity of the Malian defence and security forces and other Malian
civilian and security entities. As part of the European Union Training Mission in
Mali, 2,100 troops belonging to the Malian defence and security forces received
training on the protection of women in situations of armed conflict. In January 2013,
the Ministry of Justice of Mali, supported by the United Nations, trained 45 judges
and judicial officers on conflict-related sexual violence and on the procedures
required to bring perpetrators to justice, on HIV/AIDS and on international
humanitarian law. The United Nations, together with partners, has also implemented
projects for the prevention of sexual violence and the collection and management of
data. Messages on prevention and referral to counselling services were broadcast.
The Ministry for the Promotion of Women, Children and the Family equipped
centres for women and children in the regions of Gao, Kidal, Timbuktu, Mopti,
Segou, Kayes and Koulikouro to accommodate female survivors and provide
psychosocial services; a similar space was established in Bamako. Only a limited
number of humanitarian actors, however, have the resources and technical expertise
to provide comprehensive services to survivors.

 

Recommendation

I urge the Government, with the support of the United Nations and its partners,
to develop and implement a comprehensive national strategy to address sexual
violence that includes the provision of services for survivors, strengthening
monitoring and reporting and addressing impunity.