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After Gao, AFISMA human rights observers deploy to Timbuktu


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Following the deployment of four Human Rights Observers to Gao (north) on 7th June, a second team of human rights observers comprising two women on Friday deployed to Timbuktu still in the north, within the framework of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA).The Timbuktu team is accompanied by the Head of the AFISMA Human Rights Component, Ms. Reine Alapini Gansou, a Law Professor from Benin, who is a Member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders in Africa and a Member of the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration.

Gansou will be in Timbuktu until 18 June to ascertain the security and logistical work conditions of the human rights observers.

The observers will return to Bamako by end June to finalize their report on the state of compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law in Mali, with a specific focus on possible human rights violations in the North.

The AU special envoy to Mali and head of AFISMA, former President Pierre Buyoya, said he was satisfied with the work accomplished by the Observers, thus far.

“Like the rest of Africa and the International Community, we are patiently looking forward to your report. The people of Mali and, indeed, all of Africa are entitled to know the truth about the human rights situation in North Mali, particularly since the beginning of the Mali crisis, last year,” he said.

Prior to their deployment on the ground, the Human Rights Observers were briefed on the political, security and human rights situations in Mali; the special situation of vulnerable groups, including women, children and displaced persons; and strategies and techniques for monitoring prisons and detention centres.

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