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UNHCR seeks $12.9 million for 1996 repatriation of refugees from Mali and Niger

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UNHCR seeks $12.9 million for 1996 repatriation of refugees from Mali and Niger

18 June 1996

UNHCR issued an appeal on Tuesday for $12.9 million for the repatriation and integration this year of some of the 104,000 refugees from Mali and 15,500 from Niger in several surrounding countries.

Between 1990 and 1994, some 150,000 Malians, the majority of them Tuaregs, fled an armed conflict and went to neighbouring countries. At about the same time, 15,000-20,000 Tuaregs were forced to leave Niger.

On 11 April 1992, a peace accord was signed in Mali. This was followed in March 1996 by a national reconciliation ceremony. In Niger, a peace agreement was signed between the government and rebel groups in April 1995.

In the past year, an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 Malians returned spontaneously to their country. However, 104,300 Malian refugees remained in the asylum countries - 32,000 in Mauritania, 30,000 in Burkina Faso, 20,500 in Niger, 20,000 in Algeria and 600 in Senegal. Refugees from Niger number 15,000 in Algeria and 500 in Burkina Faso.

Depending on the peace and order situation in Mali and Niger, some 33,700 refugees from Mali and 2,500 from Niger will repatriate this year with UNHCR.

Of the $12.9 million needed this year, $2.5 million is for transport costs, $1.9 million for the supply of water to returnee areas in the Sahara desert, $810,000 for shelter, $448,000 for health services and $130,000 for livelihood projects.