TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

Renewed Violence Displaces More People in Northern Mali

By International Office of Migration (IOM)
Listen to article

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 5, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Renewed fighting in northern Mali between Malian government forces (FAMA), GATIA militia and the Coordination of Movement of Azawad (CMA) has displaced some 59,000 people in the regions of Timbuktu, Gao and Mopti.

IOM, in collaboration with the Government of Mali, is collecting and analyzing data regarding the internally displaced people (IDPs) to help better respond to their needs.

IOM Mali's latest Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report released on June 2nd shows that 59,245 people have been newly displaced by renewed fighting. These include 53,100 in Timbuktu region, 4,062 in Gao and 2,083 in Mopti.

Many of those who have escaped the violence are in need of basic assistance, including food, water and shelter, as well as psychosocial support. IOM is appealing for USD 5 million to help them.

Most are currently staying with host communities or in collective centers, including schools, while others have moved to safer areas in neighboring regions. According to local authorities in Ansongo, all the IDPs there urgently need food, blankets and tents.

IOM protection teams are already helping IDPs with medical, shelter, water and sanitation and transport assistance. It has also initiated a referral system within the humanitarian community to transfer vulnerable people to specialized agencies able to cope with their specific needs.

Last year, IOM expected an end to internal displacement in Mali in 2015. Most IDPs (394,655), who fled northern Mali following violence in 2012, returned home to Timbuktu, Gao, Mopti, and Kidal by the end of 2014.

By 31st May 2015, that number had risen to 411,000. But 100,000 IDPs remain nationwide – 43,000 from the 2012 crisis and 59,000 from the current conflict.

"If the current security situation in the north continues, 2015 will probably not see the end of internal displacement in Mali," says IOM Mali Chief of Mission Bakary Doumbia. "These confrontations increase the vulnerability of civilians, who need protection as well as other humanitarian assistance."