The Malian state recently honored an Islamic judge who delivered justice for jihadists in Timbuktu (north) in 2012 and who remains a local authority despite UN sanctions, an official document indicates.
The governor of the Timbuktu region, Bakoun Kanté, issued a “certificate of recognition» to Houka Houka Ag Alhousseini for «service rendered in favor of the return of peace and living together“, shows a list of village chiefs, imams or cadis (Islamic judges) distinguished on the occasion of a “national day of traditional legitimacies“. The list obtained by an AFP correspondent is dated November 9.
Houka Houka Ag Alhousseini, president of the Islamic court of Timbuktu during the period when the Islamists of Ansar Dine and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb controlled the city, arrested in 2014 and then released, resumed his activities of teaching and consulting on the religious affairs. He is honored as cadi of Zoueliya in the circle of Goundam, about 90 km from Timbuktu. He remains a respected personality. Houka Houka Ag Alhousseini has been talked about recently through a letter addressed to the governor and setting out the conditions for the reopening of the many schools closed under pressure from the jihadists. The jihadists who have a strong hold in the bushes of Timbuktu consider these schools to be places of depravity.
Reopening of schools
Houka Houka Ag Alhousseini conditions the reopening of schools to a strict separation of boys and girls, the wearing of clothing in conformity with Islam and the teaching of Arabic and the Koran. The few months of control exercised by jihadists over Timbuktu from mid-2012 until the liberation of the city by French and Malian forces in early 2013 were marked by abuses committed in the name of Islamic law and the destruction of holy sites. .
Houka Houka Ag Alhousseini Houka was arrested on January 17, 2014 and handed over to the Malians by the French. He was released by the Malian authorities on August 15, 2014, along with dozens of others, under so-called “of confidencetaken during negotiations between the state and certain armed groups, says the 2020 report of a UN commission of inquiry. The report names him as one of those released, although “formally charged with acts that may constitute crimes against humanity, war crimes or other serious human rights abuses“. He presents him as being part of the radical organizations which had governed Toumbouctou.
Since July 2019, he has been under UN sanctions for his actions obstructing or threatening the implementation of a major peace agreement reached in 2015 with a number of armed groups. Mali has been plagued by jihadist expansion since 2012. The country has been governed since 2020 by colonels who took power by force.