Human rights abuses have become systematic in northern Mali where Islamic extremists have imposed a strict interpretation of Sharia law.
That’s what a senior United Nations human rights official who has just concluded a four-day visit to the country told UN Radio on Wednesday.
Ivan Šimonović says that at the beginning of the conflict when Tuareg rebels were advancing and taking control of northern Mali, there were reports of human rights violations.
They included summary executions of government soldiers, rapes, looting, displacement of people and forced recruitment of children as combatants.
Šimonović says those violations were ad hoc but now that the Islamic groups have taken over northern Mali the human rights violations have become systemic.
He discusses his mission to Mali with Derrick Mbatha.