Violence in northern Mali forces over 20,000 into exile
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
UNHCR has deployed emergency teams to countries surrounding Mali to help meet the needs of some 20,000 people who have been forced to flee fighting in northern Mali. Most of the displaced are in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.
Fighting between rebel Tuareg groups and governmental forces in the Azawad region of northern Mali began in mid-January.
In the past three weeks, at least 10,000 people are reported to have crossed to Niger, 9,000 have found refuge in Mauritania and 3,000 in Burkina Faso.
In Niger, most of the new arrivals are from Menaka in Mali. Some have settled very close to the volatile border. Many of the new arrivals are sleeping in the open and have little access to shelter, clean water, health services, and food. People are scattered mainly in villages in Tillaberery, Ouallam, and Filingue districts, in the north of the country. Sinegodar, a village in Tillabery district, is hosting over 5,500 Malians, with one sole water point for the entire refugee and local population.
While most of those who recently fled Mali are Malians, recent arrivals in Niger also include nationals of Niger who had been living in Mali for decades. Many have been crossing the border between the two countries regularly to find grazing land for their cattle.
Local communities along the border, affected by the food crisis themselves in the Sahel, are sharing their resources with the new arrivals. The authorities have also distributed food. Four additional UNHCR staff are already in Niger and more are on their way. We plan to send aid for 10,000 people from our stockpiles in the region.
Our office in Ouagadougou, in Burkina Faso also reported the arrival of some 3,000 Malian Tuaregs following attacks on their homes and businesses in the Malian capital Bamako and in the nearby town of Kati last week. Many of the new arrivals are staying with host families in Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso, 320 kilometres south-west of the capital. Other new arrivals have been reported in the north west of the country, especially near Djibo, in Soum province. An inter-agency mission, including UNHCR, is scheduled to go there by the end of the week to assess the needs of the people.
Meanwhile in Mauritania UNHCR has sent several missions to the village of Fassala, in the region of Hodh el Chargi 3km from the border with Mali, where over 9,000 people have arrived since 25th January. The mainly ethnic Tuareg Malian refugees come from the region of Léré on the other side of the border. They told UNHCR that they fled fighting between Government forces and rebel Tuareg fighters, fearing retaliation by army troops.
The Mauritanian authorities, with the support of UNHCR, are taking care of the new arrivals. Medical services are being offered by the local health clinics and water is being trucked in by the authorities. UNHCR Mauritania distributed 15-day food rations and non food items to cover the urgent needs of 5000 refugees in the refugee site of Fassala. Key needs identified are food, shelter and other basic items. UNHCR will strengthen its presence in Mauritania by fielding an emergency support team.
Fighting between the Tuareg liberation movement MNLA (Mouvement National de Liberation de l'Azawad) and governmental forces resumed on 17 January in Mali, breaking a 2009 agreement that had officially ended the Tuareg rebellion.
For further information on this topic, please contact:
- In Dakar: Helene Caux on mobile +221 77 333 12 91
- In Geneva: Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba on mobile +41 79 249 3483
- In Geneva: Sybella Wilkes on mobile +41 79 557 9138
Related news and stories
UNHCR braces for further displacement as Yemen conflict intensifies
Elderly and on the run from El Salvador's street gangs
Forging new leaders for a Colombian region torn by war
UN chief says aid for Syrian refugees is in global interest
As gangs target relatives, a Central American family flees
For struggling Syrians in Mauritania, Finland offers fresh hope
Your search for « tuareg » matched 154 results. Displaying page 1 of 18 pages.
Tuareg gives up good private sector job to help Malian refugees25 Oct 2012 ... members of his "extended family" - as a Tuareg born and bred in Burkina Faso, he is ... means "welcome" in Tamasheq, a variety of Tuareg that is spoken in Timbuktu and other areas of Mali. ......
Tuareg refugees in Niger herd their livestock to safety7 May 2013 ... The cast includes 800 animals, ethnic Tuareg nomads from Mali and the UN refugee agency. In late ... trek to Intikane, a vast area where the Tuaregs will be able to live in an open area and lead ......
Workshop teaches Tuareg artisans new skills in exile4 May 2016 ... OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso, May 4 (UNHCR) - Taking a sheaf of palm fronds in her hand, Tuareg artisan ... The project's benefits are already being recognized by some, including Tuareg artisan and refugee ......
Review of the Mali/Niger repatriation and reintegration programme1 Dec 1998 ... 1998 TABLE OF CONTENTS I. BACKGROUND The Touareg Rebellion and the Peace Process q The ... I. BACKGROUND 1. The Touareg rebellion which began in 1989, first in Mali and then in Niger, caused ......
UNHCR aid to countries receiving people fleeing clashes in northern Mali10 Feb 2012 ... countries for thousands of people fleeing clashes between Tuareg rebels and the Malian army. ... Most of the 10,887 Malian refugees in Mauritania are Tuareg, many of whom are fleeing from nearby ......
UNHCR stepping up aid as influx from Mali to neighbouring countries doubles17 Feb 2012 ... has doubled over the past ten days as fighting between Tuareg rebels and the Malian army continues. ... Beginning today, our teams will be working to revamp the Mbéra camp which hosted Tuareg refugees in ......
Violence in northern Mali forces over 20,000 into exile7 Feb 2012 ... Most of the displaced are in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania. Fighting between rebel Tuareg ... Our office in Ouagadougou, in Burkina Faso also reported the arrival of some 3,000 Malian Tuaregs ......
UNHCR addresses needs of 20,000 forced to flee violence in Mali7 Feb 2012 ... Most of the displaced are in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania. Fighting between rebel Tuareg ... reported the arrival of some 3,000 Malian Tuaregs following attacks on their homes and ......
UNHCR Global Appeal 1999 - Mali1 Dec 1998 ... Malian refugees, including Tuaregs and Arabs, especially in the north-east of the country. ... The Bellas, former slaves of the Tuaregs, have been emancipated, children received an education, and ......