Court Orders Appointment of Valuation Expert to Help with Costing of Losses Suffered by 103 Claimants Against the Republic of Mali

The ECOWAS Court has ordered the appointment of an independent expert to help the Court in determining the value of properties and individual losses suffered by 103 Malians who claimed to be victims of the violation of their property rights by the Republic of Mali during the erroneous enforcement of the judgment of a national court.

Delivering its ruling in a suit filed by Djegui Djanka and 102 others, the Court directed that the court appointed expert should submit its report to the registry of the Court within three months from the date of notification of its decision. 

In the ruling delivered by the judge rapporteur Justice Gberi-Be Ouattara on Friday, April 30, 2021, he said the Court reserved judgment until after the consideration of the report of the expert and in order to confirm that the alleged victims suffered different degrees of damages requiring individual identification and appropriation of costs.

It noted that the expert will help the Court to identify and quantify the extent of damages regarding personal properties, houses and livestock belonging to the alleged victims as well as places of worship, schools and public buildings belonging to the community which were purportedly demolished in error by the Malian government in the course of enforcing its court’s judgment.

The Applicants through their lawyer, Mariam Diawara who filed their application in suit no ECW/CCJ/APP/11/17 before the ECOWAS Court on February 24, 2017 claimed that an illegal enforcement of a court decision by the Malian government which resulted in the demolition of their houses and other public buildings constituted a violation of their fundamental rights.

Mrs Diawara averred that the court’s decision was wrongly and forcefully enforced using heavy equipment to pull down their houses and places of worship which were set ablaze by officials of the government involved in the exercise.

The lawyer added that the victims appealed unsuccessfully against the decision of the expanded court in Bafoulabe that ordered their expulsion and demolition of their buildings and that they also approached the administrative authorities seeking protection of their fundamental rights, to no avail.

Mrs Diawara urged the Court to compel the Malian government to restore the fundamental rights of the alleged victims especially the right to property, mental and physical health, security and education of their children.

She also sought orders of the Court compelling the government of Mali to pay each of the victims the sum of 100 million CFA francs for the prejudice suffered and to bear all other costs.

 Also on the three member panel of the Court for the case Honorable Justices Dupe Atoki and Januaria Costa.