Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) held a number of hostages in northern Mali. The group killed some hostages and released others. There was no progress in passing laws to give women equal rights or to abolish the death penalty. Thirteen people were sentenced to death, but no executions were reported.
AQIM intensified its activities in some sub-Saharan countries including Mali throughout the year. In September, when two Malian civilians were killed by the Mauritanian air force shelling an AQIM base, Mauritania apologized to Mali. In October, President Amadou Toumani Touré asked Saharan countries to strengthen co-operation in the fight against AQIM.
The Bill for Persons and Family Code, which grants equal rights to women and sparked controversy in 2009, was again debated by sub-committees at the National Assembly. A vote on the Bill did not take place before the end of the year.Top of page
Seven hostages captured by AQIM in Mauritania and Niger and held in Mali were released during 2010.
There was no progress towards the abolition of the death penalty. A draft bill to abolish the death penalty proposed by the government in 2007 was again postponed by the National Assembly. Thirteen people were sentenced to death during the year, although no executions were reported.