Sahel - Q&A from the press briefing (10 June 2020)


Q: On Wednesday, Amnesty International published a report mentioning at least 200 civilians who were the victims of atrocities committed by defense and security forces since February. How do you explain this, given that it came after the Pau conference in January?

A: France is concerned by allegations of atrocities against civilian populations in the Sahel, some of which were reportedly committed by elements from the security and defense forces.

France is deeply committed to full compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law and welcomes the opening of investigations announced by the Sahel authorities. It calls for the presumed perpetrators of such acts to be identified and prosecuted.

The fight against impunity is a priority in France’s dialogue with the countries of the region. The rule of law, including compliance with international humanitarian law and respect for human rights by security and defense forces, is one of the commitments taken at the Pau summit on January 13. This crucial aspect is being monitored by the United Nations, the European Union, and the Coalition for the Sahel.

We are also running programs to strengthen the courts and the criminal justice system as part of the reform of the security sector in the countries of the Sahel. Preventing attacks on international humanitarian law and human rights is a priority component of the training efforts led by our international and European partners for the defense and security forces and the G5 Sahel Joint Force.