Document - UA 254/91 - Mali: extrajudicial executions / legal concern: Salick ould B'Bou, from the Oulad Drisse clan, Alhassanne ould Badi, chief of an encampment of the Oulad Oumranne clan, Mouhamad ould Mouhamad Najim, from the Oulad Boksib clan, Bil Hadou ould Ab
EXTERNAL (for general distribution)AI Index: AFR 37/06/91
UA 254/91 Extrajudicial Executions/Legal Concern 23 July 1991
MALI:Salick ould B'Bou, from the Oulad Drisse clan
Alhassanne ould Badi, chief of an encampment of the Oulad
Mouhamad ould Mouhamad Najim, from the Oulad Boksib clan
Bil Hadou ould Abdarahmane, member of the Front islamique
arabe de l'Azaouad (FIAA)
(All killed on or after 12 May 1991)
Chora ag Rhomar) killed on 21 June 1991
Mohamed Ahmed ag ElKalifa)
and at least 24 others extrajudicially executed in Timbuktu
Amnesty International has received information about the extrajudicial execution of members of the Tuareg and Moorish ethnic groups by the armed forces in northern Mali, bringing the total number of extrajudicial executions reportedly carried out by Mali's armed forces since the beginning of May 1991 to more than 50. (See UA 198/91, AFR 37/05/91, 11 June 1991). Recent reports indicate that at least 30 prisoners were shot or died as a result of ill-treatment after being arrested in May and June 1991 in the town of Timbuktu (known as Tombouctou in French). Information received by Amnesty International indicates they were not involved in recent armed attacks by Tuareg opponents of the government on towns in the area, but were executed extrajudicially because of their ethnic origin.
In June 1991, Amnesty International called on the Malian government to open an independent judicial inquiry into recent extrajudicial executions in Lere, to publish its findings and to bring to justice those responsible for these and other human rights violations. No substantive response has been received to these appeals and Amnesty International is reiterating them.
On 12 May 1991, over 50 Moors were arrested, apparently on suspicion of being supporters of the Front islamique arabe de l'Azaouad (FIAA), Azawad Arab Islamic Front, an opposition group which was one of the signatories to a peace accord with the Malian government agreed at Tamanrasset, Algeria, in January 1991. The detainees were taken to a military camp in Timbuktu where four of them were allegedly shot dead the same day. The four were apparently members of the FIAA who had been invited to Timbuktu by the authorities in the context of the Tamanrasset peace accord. The civilian authorities apparently made vain attempts to intercede on their behalf with the military authorities.
The other detainees were reportedly held at the military camp for several days without food and water, in extreme heat and in very cramped conditions without ventilation. A further 24 are alleged to have died in the following days, either by shooting, by suffocation or as a result of their harsh conditions of detention. About 25 were subsequently transferred to Timbuktu prison on about 20 May 1991, where they have apparently been charged but are still being held incommunicado, contrary to the detention procedures laid down by Mali's laws. The charges against them are not known, although it is thought that they may relate to membership of the FIAA.
In another more recent incident in Timbuktu, on 21 June 1991 the army arrested five Tuareg at Hondebomo, a nearby village. According to reports, two were killed - Chora ag Rhomar and Mohamed Ahmed ag ElKalifa - and the body of one of them was dragged to Timbuktu where it was set on fire. Amnesty International fears that these are extrajudicial executions. The local population then apparently looted shops belonging to Tuareg and Moors, many of whom fled the town.
Despite the January 1991 Tamanrasset peace agreement, which attempted to end the 1990 conflict between Tuareg rebel groups and the Malian armed forces, further attacks by armed Tuareg groups occurred in April and May 1991 in which government officials and civilians were killed. These groups evidently do not accept the January 1991 peace agreement and reject the authority of those who signed it. On 20 May 1991, some 35 Tuareg and Moor prisoners were extrajudicially executed by soldiers at Lere. Although the Malian authorities opened an inquiry into the Lere killings and the head of state has expressed his regret at exactions by both rebels and government forces, the inquiry's findings have not been published nor is any action known to have been taken to bring to justice those responsible for the extrajudicial executions.
Following the overthrow of General Moussa Traore's 23-year-old government in March 1991 by armed forces' officers, an interim government of military and civilian ministers was appointed to govern the country in the period leading up to multi-party elections later in the year. On 15 July 1991, the new authorities announced that a conspiracy to overthrow the government had been thwarted: the Minister of the Interior, Major Lamine Diabira, and eight other army officers were arrested.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes and airmail letters:
- expressing concern at reports that, in addition to 35 extrajudicial executions in Lere in May 1991, 28 other extrajudicial executions are now said to have occurred in the same month in Timbuktu and a further two extrajudicial executions are reported to have occurred in Timbuktu on 21 June 1991; (In your appeals please mention the names of some of the victims cited above)
- urging the army high command to ensure that the security forces do not execute any prisoner extrajudicially and that they do not detain anybody on account of their ethnic origins;
- calling on the government to establish an independent and open judicial inquiry into the killings which will make public its findings and recommendations, and to bring to justice promptly those responsible for killings and other human rights violations;
- asking to know the charges against the Tuareg and Moor prisoners still detained in Timbuktu, and urging that they be given immediate access to family, lawyers and medical treatment;
- appealing for the immediate release of any prisoners of conscience.
Monsieur le Lieutenant-Colonel Amadou
Chef de l'Etat
Comite de transition pour le salut du
B.P. 1463, Bamako, Mali
Telegrams:Comite de transition
Faxes:+223 22 3980
Telexes:2521 PREMALI MJ
Monsieur Soumana Sacko
Le Cabinet du Premier Ministre
Monsieur le Lieutenant-Colonel Tiecoura
Ministre de la Defense nationale et de
la Sûrete nationale
Ministère de la Defense nationale
B.P. 215, Bamako, Mali
Monsieur le Commandant Moussa Diabate
Ministre de l'Administration
Ministère de l'Administration
Ministre Administration territoriale
Monsieur le Chef d'escadron Souleymane
Ministre des Affaires etrangères
Ministère des Affaires etrangères
Koulouba, Bamako, Mali
Faxes:+223 22 5226
Maître Demba Diallo
Association malienne des droits de
BP 367, Bamako, Mali
Les Echos, BP 2043, Bamako, Mali
Aurore, BP 3150, Bamako, Mali
L'Essor, BP 141, Bamako, Mali
Le Cafard Libere, BP 7292, Dakar, Senegal
and to diplomatic representatives of Mali in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 2 September 1991.