Alioune Tine, independent expert on human rights in Mali, said that contrary to reported reports, President Bah N’Daw and former Prime Minister Moctar Ouane were not released by the military on May 27, but were instead placed under house arrest.
The development follows Mali’s second coup in less than a year.
The dismissed president and prime minister were initially detained on Monday 24 May in the Kati military camp near the capital, Bamako, with five other senior civilian and military officials.
Only two of the five officials have been released to date, Tine said, before approving the West African blockade ECOWAS request for a new presidential election in February 2022.
On Friday, Mali’s constitutional court declared Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military blow in August, to be the new interim president.
“I call on the transitional authorities in Mali to immediately end the house arrest of these two men and to release three senior military officers from arbitrary detention,” he said. She said.
Restore the rule of law
“I ask all transitional authorities in Mali to scrupulously respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and to restore the rule of law.”
“The Malian authorities must lift the house arrest of these two people and allow the remaining detainees to communicate with their families and lawyers and to receive visits”, underlined the UN expert.
He also argued that Mali must allow human rights officials from the UN mission MINUSMA, as well as representatives of national human rights institutions and organizations, to visit them.
The independent expert said Mali must form an inclusive government to restore the country, now suspended by ECOWAS institutions, to constitutional order and the rule of law.
The African Union (AU) has also reportedly suspended the country’s membership.
After two coups in Mali in 10 months, Tine called on national and international actors to strengthen state institutions and the rule of law to avoid repeated crises and ensure respect for all human rights.
However, he said the main responsibility lies with Malians themselves.
“I ask political, military and civil society leaders to exercise restraint and engage in in-depth dialogue in order to restore lasting peace, stability and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Mali.”
An under attack
Meanwhile, the premises of the UN peacekeeping mission, MINUSMA, were targeted on Tuesday by unidentified assailants in Aguelhok, Kidal region.
It is important that the new government … is inclusive and has the widest possible support … A spokesperson
Preliminary reports describe a complex attack involving indirect mortars and small arms fire against a number of MINUSMA locations there.
“The United Nations peacekeepers reacted, forcing the attackers to flee. No casualties or material damage were reported by the United Nations, ”according to UN spokesman Stéphane Dujaric.
At the same time, MINUSMA continues to closely monitor political developments in the country and reiterated its commitment to work with ECOWAS and the AU to return to constitutional order through free and transparent elections.
MINUSMA joined ECOWAS in stressing that the transition schedule must be respected and concluded within the agreed 18-month deadline.
“To achieve this, the Mission says it is important that the new government, led by a civilian prime minister, is inclusive and has the widest possible support,” Dujarric said.
The United Nations peacekeeping mission also reiterated the request for the immediate lifting of house arrest and the “immediate and unconditional release” of collaborators and personnel.
“We will continue to support the people of Mali, an unshakable support, [as it] continues to pursue its efforts to combat insecurity, support the implementation of the peace and reconciliation agreement and help stabilize the country, in line with the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, “he said the spokesperson.