Corinne Dufka, who heads Human Rights Watch in West Africa, told CNN on Thursday that education could help stem the "worrying number of reprisal killings."
"[It] should be a wake-up call not only to the Malian army to nip this problem in the bud and investigate and hold those responsible, but also to Mali's international partners -- the French, the European Union, the African forces who are coming in -- to acknowledge the weaknesses and problems within the Malian security forces, and then, to properly accompany them, to urgently train them in international humanitarian law and to mentor them so there are no further abuses in the future," Dufka said.
A CNN crew in Mali has heard anecdotal reports of abuses. It has encountered widespread hatred of the Tuareg in Mali, with many in the population blaming them for bringing the current conflict into Mali.
The CNN crew has heard reports that the houses and possessions of Tuareg families have been destroyed by either citizens or Mali's military.
Many Tuareg are in hiding or keeping a low profile for fear of retribution from the public and military. Tuareg in refugee camps have repeatedly said they had to flee Mali because of violence against them.
France's involvement in Mali began the day after militants said January 10 that they had seized the city of Konna, east of Diabaly in central Mali, and were poised to advance south toward Bamako.
Those events stoked fear among global security experts that Mali could become a new hub for terrorism.
The FIDH is a multinational human rights body made up of 164 groups across the world, with delegations at the United Nations in Geneva, the European Union in Brussels and the International Criminal Court in The Hague.