This document is a partial update of the COI Focus Mali. Situation sécuritaire published 10 February 2017, as it only analyses the security situation in the north of the country. It covers the period from 1 January to 31 August 2017. The security situation in central Mali is analysed in the COI Focus Mali. Situation sécuritaire au centre du pays dated 3 August 2017. The research for this update was concluded on 31 August 2017.
The armed groups who signed the 2015 peace agreement are not represented in the government that came to power in April 2017.
Regarding the different measures to be implemented under the peace agreement, the interim authorities in the five northern regions were officially appointed between February and April 2017. Malian army troops conducted joint patrols with militants from armed groups. On the other hand, the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration process of armed militants has fallen behind schedule.
The state of emergency has been extended until 31 October 2017 because of the security situation in northern and central Mali. The consulted sources (ONU, ACLED, FIDH, AMDH) see a direct link between the unstable security situation and the activities of jihadist groups. In June 2017, the UN Security Council approved the deployment of a counterterrorism force in the Sahel region (G5 Sahel). For their part, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali decided to create a mixed multinational force to protect their common borders.
During the reporting period, northern Mali was affected by a number of asymmetrical attacks by Islamist groups against international troops and the Malian defence and security forces but also against rival militant groups who signed the peace agreement. The Coordination and the Platform who are fighting each other over the control of Kidal agreed on a temporary truce at the end of August 2017. Interethnic fighting has been reported in the Kidal region, especially between the Imhgad and Idnan Tuareg tribes. Drug trafficking and people smuggling has increased in northern Mali together with purely criminal violence (killings, torture, looting, rape and intimidation) by actors profiting from the unstable security situation. The consulted sources also mention human rights violations committed by the Malian defence and security forces and by armed groups.
International troops and the Malian defence and security forces have been the main target of jihadist attacks. The militant groups party to the peace agreement have also been targeted, as well as aid organisations. Civilians also suffered violence-related damage to property, mainly in central and northern Mali.
In June-July 2017, Mali counted 59,000 internally displaced persons whereas more than 143,000 refugees fled the country, mainly to Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger. These figures from UN bodies show an increase compared to the first three months of 2017.
Daily life, especially schools and local administrations, health care and the work of aid organisations has been negatively affected by the security situation and the violence in northern Mali.
The policy implemented by the Commissioner General is based on a thorough analysis of accurate and up-to-date information on the general situation in the country of origin. This information is collated in a professional manner from various, objective sources, including the EASO, the UNHCR, relevant international human rights organisations, non-governmental organisations, professional literature and coverage in the media. When determining policy, the Commissioner General does not only examine the COI Focuses written by Cedoca and published on this website, as these deal with just one aspect of the general situation in the country of origin. The fact that a COI Focus could be out-of-date does not mean that the policy that is being implemented by the Commissioner General is no longer up-to-date.
When assessing an application for asylum, the Commissioner General not only considers the actual situation in the country of origin at the moment of decision-making, he also takes into account the individual situation and personal circumstances of the applicant for international protection. Every asylum application is examined individually. An applicant must comprehensively demonstrate that he has a well-founded fear of persecution or that there is a clear personal risk of serious harm. He cannot, therefore, simply refer back to the general conditions in his country, but must also present concrete, credible and personal facts.
There is no policy paper for this country available on the website.