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SG/SM/18157-L/3260
27 September 2016

World Court’s First-Ever Judgment in Case of Attacks on Cultural Heritage Marks ‘Step Forward’ for Fight to End Impunity in Mali, Secretary-General Says

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General welcomes the judgment delivered today by the International Criminal Court in the case of The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, in which Mr. Al Mahdi was found guilty as a co-perpetrator of the war crime of intentionally directing attacks against religious and historic buildings in Timbuktu, Mali, in June and July 2012.

The Secretary-General notes that the International Criminal Court judgment, the first in a case of destruction of cultural heritage, represents an important step forward in the fight against impunity in Mali.  He further notes that the path to healing wounds between communities in the country must be premised in greater accountability, justice and the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali.

The Secretary-General expresses his appreciation for the efforts undertaken by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), in support of national authorities, to protect and reconstruct Mali’s heritage and to preserve cultural diversity in the country.

For information media. Not an official record.