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What Fate for Prisoners in Mali?

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Monday, February 4, 2013 at 10:57 AM

The French military intervention in Mali continues:

Islamist rebels have ceded control of most of Mali’s major cities but have likely taken refuge in the country’s rugged mountains and caves. As a result, French airstrikes continued over the weekend as fighter jets bombed rebel training camps and arms and fuel depots. …

In a press conference at the French ambassador’s residence, Hollande acknowledged the difficulties still facing the mission. “There is still a whole part of the north that  remains unconquered … There are terrorist elements concentrated in  some areas of the country, others who are dispersed. There are risks of  terrorism. So, we have not yet finished our mission,” he said.

Here’s my question:  What happens to captured persons?  There must be some.  I do not doubt that the French are at great pains not to hold detainees in custody themselves, at least not for one moment longer than necessary.  I assume, rather, that anyone captured by French forces is quickly turned over to Malian custody.  But what then?  Is Mali using non-criminal detention?  Is Mali “prosecuting” everyone they capture?  I’d be interested to hear from any reader who knows the details.  Note that Daveed Gartenstein-Ross has a very interesting post on this topic here.