Target: The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Contact Group on Mali
Goal: Investigate the recent crimes against Malian soldiers that were committed by opposition leader Sanogo and his security forces.
Eighty Malian soldiers were arbitrarily detained and savagely tortured. Twenty Malian soldiers were abducted and most likely murdered. And most recently, several Malian journalists were kidnapped, beaten, and left for dead. These crimes were carried out by the security forces of Captain Amadou Sanogo, leader of a seditious but successful movement back in March of 2012 that was aimed at removing Mali’s former President Touré. Although shortly afterward Sanogo yielded to Mali’s current interim government, he has used his influence with fellow coup members to seek revenge against soldiers and other Mali citizens who did not support his movement. Sanogo and his security forces must be held responsible for their crimes.
Throughout spring and early summer, Sanogo’s forces began detaining any soldiers who had helped lead an April counter-coup effort against him. Although under Malian law it is legal to arrest and prosecute individuals involved in counter-coup activities, the soldiers were unlawfully arrested and detained at a military camp where they endured weeks of malicious torture. Men were starved, burned, beaten, and forced to engage in sexual acts. Some were killed, while survivors were subject to the psychological abuse of constant death threats. Twenty of the soldiers were removed from the camp and were forcibly disappeared, meaning that their whereabouts are unknown and Sanogo’s security forces are denying that they ever existed. In July, several journalists who were brave enough to report on Sanogo’s crimes also endured brutal treatment.
Mali’s interim government is supported by the ECOWAS Contact Group on Mali, a partner that has aggressively called for the investigation of war crimes during Mali’s current state of unrest. Encouraging the ECOWAS Contact Group on Mali to investigate crimes committed by Sanogo and his security forces will bring stability to the country and will show citizens that they can put their trust in Mali’s transitional government. Most importantly, investigating these crimes will allow victims and their families to receive the protection and peace of mind they so desperately need.
Dear ECOWAS Contact Group on Mali,
As you are well aware, since January 2012, Mali has suffered a state of unrest. Amidst the chaos, war crimes are being committed every day. Among these crimes stand those of Captain Amadou Sanogo and his security forces, who are responsible for the arbitrary detainment and savage torture of eighty Malian soldiers. Similarly, twenty Malian soldiers were abducted and forcibly disappeared. And most recently, several Malian journalists were kidnapped, beaten, and left for dead because they had the courage to report on these crimes.
Sanogo has used his ties with fellow coup members to seek revenge against soldiers and other Mali citizens who did not support his movement. However, as one of the partners who influenced him to yield his power to a transitional government, ECOWAS and its Contact Group on Mali can lead efforts to investigate these brutal crimes.
As a spokesperson working on behalf of Mali, you have set the example among Mali’s international supporters and must not fail to act on behalf of the victims and their families who were so horrifically violated. Please help Mali’s interim government pursue Sanogo and his forces so that victims and their families can receive the protection and peace of mind they so desperately need.
[Your Name Here]
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