News / Africa

Tens of Thousands Displaced by Intensified Mali Clashes

Malian family displaced by war gather at a makeshift camp in Sevare, about 400 miles northeast of Bamako, July 11, 2012.
Malian family displaced by war gather at a makeshift camp in Sevare, about 400 miles northeast of Bamako, July 11, 2012.
Lisa Schlein
The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) says thousands of Malians have become internally displaced or are seeking refuge in neighboring countries as clashes escalate between French troops and Islamist rebels.
 
Officials say the humanitarian situation in the central Mopti region in particular is deteriorating as a consequence of recent fighting.
 
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that more than 30,000 people have fled their homes since the French military intervention on Friday, bringing the number of displaced in Mali to around 230,000.
 
OCHA spokesman Jens Laerke says the increasing number of internally displaced will only exacerbate already tenuous health, shelter, sanitation and food-security resources in the north.
 
“This renewed fighting, particularly in central and northern Mali, comes at a time when an estimated 4.2 million Malians will need humanitarian help," he said. "This includes ... hundreds of thousands of malnourished children.”
 
The U.N. estimates there are some two million food-insecure people in Mali. Last year, the World Food Program managed to reach 1.2 million beneficiaries in the country, more than one-quarter of a million of whom were in the Islamist-rebel-controlled north.
 
WFP says it is monitoring the situation closely, but that growing insecurity is severely limiting access to northern areas. The agency also says it stands ready to respond to increased needs in case of further population movements.
 
In the meantime, UNHCR reports over 1,200 Malian refugees have crossed into neighboring Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania in recent days, where, according to UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards, the agency is already providing clean water, sanitation, healthcare and education to tens of thousands who have already fled the violence.
 
“We are in all these countries seeking to relocate refugees away from the border to safe areas," he said, explaining that the work is ongoing. "In Niger are conducting what we call 'level 2' refugee registration, which is more detailed individual refugee registration, which allows us to get a better sense of the population size. We will be continuing to revise our figures for the refugee populations as data reliability improves.”
 
The UNHCR reports the total number of Malian refugees in the region is 144,500 and that its humanitarian operation is running a $44 million shortfall.
 
The U.N. Children’s Fund says there is a high risk of children becoming separated from their families during flight, warning that unaccompanied children are much more vulnerable to many forms of abuse, including recruitment for combat and sexual violence.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Rocksaldt from: USA
January 15, 2013 1:26 PM
And the next obvious question should be, "What are the French doing to make sure these people are clothed and fed?" And then, "How can we ensure civilians who lived on the front lines are now not worse off than they would have been had the French not intervened??"

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid