By RUDD KONTE in Bamako

HUMAN rights experts have called on Mali to prevent
attacks against “slaves”.

Such incidents are on the rise, with injuries doubling this year from 2020.

“The constant and systematic attacks on people who are considered ‘slaves’ are unacceptable and must stop immediately,” said Alioune Tine, United Nations independent expert on the situation of human rights in Mali.

Mali outlawed slavery in 1905, but a system of “descent-based slavery” persists.

Slave status is ascribed to some people because their ancestors were allegedly enslaved by the families of the so-called masters.

Already this year, 62 people – 57 men and five women – have been injured in violent clashes in the western Kayes region. There, 80 have had to flee their homes.

“Such vicious attacks are incompatible with an inclusive society and we condemn them in the strongest terms,” said Tomoya Obokata, UN special
rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery.

The experts renewed their call for Mali to urgently adopt a law specifically criminalising slavery.

People born into slavery are deprived of payment and basic human rights and dignity.

Traditional or religious leaders and their allies as well as some state authorities violently attack those who reject the “slave” designation and anti-slavery organisations in the West African country.– CAJ News