News / Africa

UN Chief Calls For Investigation Into Mali Violations

A soldier salutes UN Special Representative to Mali, Albert Koenders (2nd L), at a ceremony that marks the beginning of the 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali in Bamako, July 1, 2013.
A soldier salutes UN Special Representative to Mali, Albert Koenders (2nd L), at a ceremony that marks the beginning of the 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali in Bamako, July 1, 2013.
Lisa Schlein
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon is calling for an investigation into human rights violations in Mali. The U.N.’s top official says he is seriously concerned about the situation in Mali despite agreements between the warring factions to make peace.  

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he welcomes the June 18th agreement between the transitional government of Mali and northern armed groups - an agreement that paved the way for the July 28th presidential election. He says it is vital this election goes ahead and that there be a peaceful outcome accepted by all parties.

A 12,600-member U.N. peacekeeping operation took over in Mali from an African-led mission on Monday. Mr. Ban says this force will provide logistical and other support for the electoral process.  

However, Mr. Ban says he is very concerned about the humanitarian situation in Mali.  He notes the takeover of the north by Islamist rebel groups and subsequent fighting with the government has displaced nearly 475,000 people. He says nearly 1.4 million people need immediate humanitarian assistance.

“We have seen human rights violations in northern Mali by all sides to the conflict, including the use of children by armed groups, rapes, and enforced disappearances.  It is imperative that violations be investigated and perpetrators be held accountable," he said.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Ban warned the 2015 deadline for meeting critical anti-poverty goals worldwide would be missed unless nations intensify efforts. The secretary-general reviewed progress toward meeting the eight Millennium Development Goals in an opening speech at the 3-week session of the Economic and Social Council.

He gave the effort a mixed review.  He said significant progress has been made in meeting many of the targets. For example, he said, good results have been made in reducing poverty, noting that the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has been halved.

He said more than two billion people now have access to improved sources of drinking water and remarkable gains are being made in the fight against malaria and tuberculosis.

Indeed, a new U.N. report assessing the global and regional progress toward meeting the MDGs finds between 2000 and 2010, mortality rates from malaria fell by more than 25 percent globally and more than one million deaths were averted.  The report says deaths from tuberculosis could be halved in some regions of the world.

Notwithstanding these successes, Mr. Ban said nations are falling short in a number of areas.

“Environmental sustainability is under threat, with continuing loss of forests, species and fish stocks, and rapid growth of greenhouse gas emissions.  Nineteen thousand children under age five die each day, most from preventable diseases," said Ban. "Women continue to be denied an equal opportunity in decision-making at all levels.”  

Mr. Ban said nations must accelerate efforts to bring down maternal mortality rates, which remain unacceptably high. He said universal primary education has not been achieved and a staggering 2.5 billion people around the world still lack improved sanitation.

He said the world can generate the momentum needed to achieve these important development issues by the 2015 target date if nations step up and act now.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More