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Mali: The Mothers’ Collective Calls for Action on Violence Against Women on the Sevaré-Gao Route

Violence against women, with the consequent rape of women and girls by armed groups, has become common currency in recent times on the Sevaré-Douentza-Hombori-Gao road. Faced with this situation, the Collective of the mothers, wounded and indignant, organized on Monday, October 16, 2017, a peaceful march to denounce and protest against this ignoble practice of the armed groups.

In her manifesto, Maïga Lalaïcha Touré, spokesperson for the Collective, said the security situation in northern Mali had taken on the dimensions of an unprecedented humanitarian drama, compounded by an initial situation of alarming food crisis. To this end, she said, the security crisis is prolonging and amplifying the drama of the populations by assailants who do not respect human life or public and private property.

 “Creating a situation of widespread terror based on a systematic violation of basic human rights, the new tool of armed groups is to rape girls and women on the Gao-Sevaré axis in front of their fathers and husbands, citizens disillusioned and traumatized by the indifference of the Malian authorities, the Minusma, Barkane and even the International Community,” she added.

Struck by years of crisis, the populations of the north, especially women, suffer a double psychological and moral trauma, reduced to the worst deprivations: water, medicines, electricity, food … women are on the edge of the abyss. Today, she said, it was a question of denouncing and restoring the dignity of women, referring to the statement of Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations: “The most shame is undoubtedly characterized by violence against women. It has no geographical, cultural or social divisions. As long as violent acts continue to be perpetrated, we will not be able to claim progress towards equality, development and peace. ” “To cope with this dramatic situation, we, members of the Mothers Collective who are wounded and outraged, feel it is imperative to put an end to this practice. It is no less urgent to re-establish a safe corridor for women who move; to set up without delay a commission of inquiry to investigate all the acts of rape and bring them before the courts; to deal with cases of violence at the level of the Malian authorities and to invite all Malians and the international community to mobilize to denounce this new form of aggression against women and girls,” explained the spokesperson of the Collective, Mrs Maïga Lalaïcha Touré. 

Source: Maliweb.net