The United States welcomes the April 12 inauguration of Diouncounda Traore as interim President of Mali to head a transition government tasked with organizing elections. We commend the leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in working to restore civilian rule to Mali and its ongoing efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the crisis in the north. We support these positive steps forward in the political transition process, and we urge all parties to facilitate the swift and complete restoration of civilian rule through free and fair elections.
We are deeply concerned about reports of human rights violations in the north. We strongly condemn all looting and violence, including violence against humanitarian and diplomatic missions and sexual and gender-based violence. The United States and the international community remind all parties of their obligations under international law, which holds combatants and their commanders to account for acts of conflict-related sexual violence and acts of aggression. We urge all armed groups to cease-fire, respect human rights, engage in dialogue with Mali’s civilian government, and allow assistance to reach populations in need unhindered.