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Mali: UN expert to assess critical human rights picture amid worsening security situation


GENEVA (8 March 2018) – The UN Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Mali, Suliman Baldo, will visit the country from 12 to 16 March as the security situation and human rights conditions deteriorate.

"My concerns during this visit will centre on the establishment of a sustainable strategy to tackle the ongoing serious human rights abuses and violations, as well as the worrying humanitarian situation,” said Mr. Baldo.

“The human rights approach demands that there be a victim-centred response and I would like to see if this is happening in practice. I would also like to see whether respect for human rights is being integrated into plans for a G5 Sahel regional joint force.”

He continued: "Last September the UN Security Council designated acts that violate international human rights or humanitarian law as criteria for triggering targeted sanctions, and I would like to evaluate the impact of this resolution."

Mali faces a huge security challenge, including the expansion of the activities of violent extremist groups.

"I would like to see if preparations for the presidential election, the first round of which is scheduled for 29 July, have begun in order to ensure that free, fair and transparent elections will be held,” Mr. Baldo added.

During his mission, the Independent Expert will meet Malian authorities, the diplomatic corps, and representatives of the Integrated Mission for Stabilization of Mali (MINUSMA), as well as UN agencies, human rights defenders and civil society organizations.

He will present a full report, including information from this visit, to the Human Rights Council later this month.


Mr. Suliman Baldo (Sudan) took office as independent expert on the human rights situation in Mali on 1 August 2013. The mandate of independent expert was renewed by the Human Rights Council on 20 March 2017 for a period of one year to assist the Government of Mali in its actions to promote and protect human rights and in the implementation of the recommendations made in Council resolutions. Mr. Baldo has served as Director for Africa at the New York-based International Center for Transitional Justice and the International Crisis Group. In 2011, he was one of three members of the International Commission on Post-Election Violence in Côte d'Ivoire, set up by the UN Human Rights Council.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights country page - Mali

For more information and media requests, please contact:
In Geneva: Brian Ruane (+41 22 928 9724 / bruane@ohchr.org)
In Bamako (during the visit): Guillaume Ngefa (+223 94950226 / ngefa@un.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact:
Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rights: www.standup4humanrights.org.