Country report and updates: Mali

Mali

30/07/1998
From 1990 onwards there has been an armed conflict in the north of Mali. Armed Tuareg groups attacked government institutions and civilians. Due to the armed conflict, 120,000 Tuaregs fled abroad. In 1992 a peace agreement was signed between the government and the Unified Movements and Fronts of Azawad (MFUA), an umbrella organisation of four armed Tuareg groups. The agreement provided for disarmament of the Tuareg rebels and their integration into the armed forces. But the rebellion and the killings did not cease. As a result the black civilians in the south, led by a deserted army officer, organised themselves in the self-defence movement Ghanda Koy. In 1994 a further agreement was signed. In 1996 more than 2,500 weapons were publicly destroyed in 'flames of peace'. [2] [4] [5]

1 Conscription

conscription exists

Mali has conscription, although it is imposed selectively. [1] [7] [8]

It is not clear what the current legal basis for conscription is.

military service

It is not known who is liable for military service.

Military service lasts for 2 years. [8]

postponement and exemption

No information available.

recruitment

It is not known how recruitment actually takes place, but it is quite clear that not all potential conscripts are called up.

Since the 1992 peace agreement many soldiers of armed Tuareg groups have been integrated into the armed forces. [2] [4] [5]

2 Conscientious objection

There is no legal provision for conscientious objection. [1]

3 Draft evasion and desertion

penalties

Draft evasion and desertion are punishable under Chapter II, Section 1 of the military penal code (Code de Justice Militaire).

Refusal to perform military service (insoumission) is punishable by a month to a year's imprisonment in peacetime; and two to ten years in wartime (art. 89).

Desertion within the country is punishable by six months to three years' imprisonment in peacetime; minimal one year's imprisonment in wartime (art. 90).

Desertion in the presence of the enemy is punishable by forced labour; desertion to the enemy is punishable by the death sentence (art. 91).

Desertion of two or more people is considered conspiracy and punishable by one to five years' imprisonment; the punishment may be doubled in case of desertion abroad. In wartime, desertion with conspiracy is punishable by execution (art. 92).

practice

Many soldiers of the armed forces have deserted to join the Ghanda Koy forces to fight the Tuareg rebels, but apparently this has been without any repercussions. [3] [2]

It has been reported that of the 2,000 former Tuareg rebels who had been integrated into the armed forces, many deserted and returned to former rebel bases. [6]

No further details are known.

4 Recruitment by armed Tuareg groups

Despite the 1992 and 1994 peace agreements there are still armed Tuareg groups. Not much is known about the recruitment of Tuareg groups, but it has been reported that many of the rebels have been part of the so called Islamic Legion, which was trained by Libya and fought for Libya in the war against Chad. In 1990 Libya sent them away. [3] [4]

6 Annual statistics

The armed forces consist of a 7,350 strong army - 0.07 percent of the population. [8]

There are several paramilitary organisations, including the 1,800-strong Gendarmerie, the 2,000-strong Republican Guard, a 3,000-strong militia and the 1,000-strong national police. [8]

Every year approximately 95,000 reach conscription age. [8]

Sources

[1] Eide, A., C. Mubanga-Chipoya 1985. Conscientious objection to military service, report prepared in pursuance of resolutions 14 (XXXIV) and 1982/30 of the Sub-Commission of Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. United Nations, New York. [2] Amnesty International 1994. Mali: Ethnic conflict and killings of civilians. AI, London, UK. [3] Le Monde, 31 January 1996. Paris. [4] Jeune Afrique no. 1834, 28 February 1996. Paris. [5] NRC Handelsblad (Dutch newspaper), 28 March 1996. [6] Amnesty International 1997. Amnesty International Report 1996. AI, London, UK. [7] UN Commission on Human Rights, 1997. The question of conscientious objection to military service, report of the Secretary-General prepared pursuant to Commission resolution 1995/83. United Nations, Geneva. [8] Institute for Strategic Studies 1997. Military Balance 1997/98. ISS, London, UK.