Mali clashes displace nearly 130,000, UN warns

By | February 24, 2012

Malian refugees at a camp in Chinegodar, western Niger, close to the Malian border, on 4 February 2012 Nearly 130,000 people have been displaced by fighting between Tuareg rebels and government forces since mid-January in Mali, the UN has warned. The clashes had displaced an estimated 60,000 people inside Mali, and a further 69,000 had fled to neighbouring countries, a spokesman told the BBC. Adrian Edwards warned that basic supplies were urgently needed, as those displaced “don’t have anything”. Dozens are feared to have died, but independent information is scarce.  The Azawad National Liberation Movement MNLA, which wants independence for the northern region of Mali, took up arms last month and has launched attacks on northern towns and army bases. It came after many Tuareg fighters returned from Libya, where they had fought alongside Col Muammar Gaddafi’s forces. Rights groups have urged the government, meanwhile, not to bomb civilians. The resurgence in fighting follows two years of relative peace between the government and the Tuareg.”Over a space of a few weeks we have seen literally tens of thousands of people being displaced to at least four countries surrounding Mali, plus smaller numbers in Togo, Guinea as well,” Mr Edwards said.He said there were an estimated 60,000 inside Mali, as well as some 29,000 in Niger, 22,000 in Mauritania and 18,000 in Burkina Faso. The estimated 130,000 people displaced by the fighting is about 0.8% of the entire Malian population, which was estimated at 15.8m in 2011 – and a far greater proportion of the harsh, arid north part of the country. Mr Edwards warned that there were “quite critical” needs for basic supplies – including shelter, food, water and medicines. …

via BBC News – Mali clashes displace nearly 130,000, UN warns.

Looking for ways to help, this seems like an organization people could donate to… but I don’t know that this would be the best one. Anyone have any thoughts on how to best help these people?

The ICRC regional delegation in Niamey covers Mali and Niger. The ICRC protects and helps people affected by armed conflict in both countries. It visits detainees and provides them with material aid where necessary. … The ICRC strives to promote international humanitarian law among the armed forces and other weapon bearers, and to encourage the authorities to implement it throughout the region. It focuses its efforts on ensuring that international humanitarian law is included in the training and practices of the armed and security forces.

Category: War

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