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Sahel: Human Rights

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 126872, tabled on 8 December 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to (a) support transparent and independent investigations into reports of extrajudicial killings and human rights violations by armed groups and security forces in the Sahel region and (b) develop a strategic response to resolve that situation.

Answered on

16 December 2020

The UK is deeply concerned about the increasing allegations of human rights abuses and violations committed by a range of actors across the Sahel. We have been using our seat at the UN Security Council and our diplomatic presence in the region to push for greater accountability and increased compliance of human rights and international humanitarian law by national and regional security forces. I have urged relevant governments across the Sahel to carry out full investigations into allegations and ensure perpetrators are brought to justice. With our recent deployment to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA, and as one of the largest humanitarian donors to the region, the protection of civilians is at the heart of the UK response.

We are also committed to strengthened civil-military coordination. On 15 October, in the lead up to the Ministerial Roundtable on the Central Sahel, I opened a UK co-hosted side event with the Norwegian Refugee Council and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), that focused on the need for more effective civil-military dialogue. We are taking forward the outcomes of this event. The UK has also provided bilateral funding to support the implementation of the G5 Sahel Joint Force's human rights compliance framework.