Caritas is launching a wide-ranging response covering four countries to help those affected by the recent conflict in Mali which has uprooted hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.
A 3,055,134 euro (US$4 million) programme will strengthen Caritas organisations in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Senegal so they can help the hundreds of thousands of Malians affected by the crisis.
The prime focus of the programme is to provide aid to the internally displaced, refugees and others who are victims of the Mali conflict.
“The funds given to this emergency not only give us the chance to extend our solidarity to Malian refugees in a time of need but they also invest in helping Caritas organisations in the Sahel respond to the emergency together and to have a good grounding for collaboration on future emergencies,” said Gaston Goro, head of emergencies at Caritas Mali.
Over 5000 families (30-35,000 people) in Mali and […]
By Helen Blakesley
Djélika Haïdara pushes a plaited braid off her face and hitches her five month-old son higher onto her hip. She leans down to look into the metal pot that’s simmering on the wood stoked stove, placed on the kitchen floor. Cooking has been her main occupation since they left Timbuktu. Since they fled in fear for their lives.
The day the rebels came, Djélika was sitting in the classroom with the other students, as she always did. Listening carefully to the teacher. It was her favorite lesson, physics and chemistry. Then the gunshots started, startling the teenagers sitting in their neat rows behind their desks. The rebels weren’t far away. Their stray bullets were finding innocent victims in the small school building. Some students fainted, others hid, still others were hit—and a number died.
Djélika was pregnant at the time. A newly wed bride carrying her first son. She […]
The landscape is desolate. Not a tree or a bush provides adequate shelter or shade. The wind is howling, children’s faces are streaked with dark lines of tears as the windswept sand hurts their eyes.
Halima is a young women who lives in the refugee camp of Ayorou Niger. She her left her hometown of Tabakota in Mali three month ago with 20 members of her family. “I have a small child you see, so when armed men started shooting, I got scared and left town, actually the whole family did,” she said.
Halima is grateful her family were given millet and vegetable oil. She is particularly happy about the 40kg charcoal bag she stands by. “I will be able to cook for the whole family for about three weeks with this,” she said.
CADEV, Caritas Niger is working in four camps helping 18,000 Malian refugees. They fled there after rebels seized […]
How did the conflict start?
Tuareg rebels led a rebellion in the north of Mali in January 2012 in a bid for independence. The Malian military staged a coup in March 2012 and Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal fell to armed groups. The rebels broke off peace talks at the beginning of January 2013 and subsequently took control of Konna and Diabali, about 400km from the capital, Bamako. One of their aims was to introduce Sharia Law. French troops launched an offensive in early January 2013 and are supported by African troops. They recaptured Konna, Diabli and other towns as well as the airport at Timbuktu.
What are the effects of the conflict on Malians?
The north has seen aerial bombardments and heavy fighting and before the that rebel invasion of towns. Many people have fled the unrest either further south or to neighbouring countries. The UN said there were over 200,000 internally […]
De Caritas Suisse
Des groupes islamistes terrorisent le nord du Mali depuis des mois. Des centaines de milliers de civils ont pris la fuite. Caritas maintient ses projets au Mali et prévoit de renforcer son aide alimentaire, dont bénéficient également les réfugiés.
«Beaucoup de réfugiés du nord sont arrivés à Mopti. De nombreuses femmes et fillettes ont été violées par les islamistes et par les militaires basés à Sévaré, la garnison voisine», témoigne Sylvia Mollet, une ancienne collaboratrice de Caritas Suisse qui vit dans la capitale malienne. L’organisation partenaire de Caritas Danaya So s’est occupée des victimes à Mopti, proche de la ligne de front.
En plus du conflit armé, le pays subit encore les conséquences de la grande sécheresse : «Actuellement, 4,6 millions de personnes souffrent de la crise alimentaire au Mali, principalement au nord. Depuis l’occupation du nord du pays par des groupes d’islamistes, près de 200’000 civils se sont réfugiés dans le […]
The president of Caritas Mali, Archbishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako, has asked for a humanitarian corridor to be opened in his war-torn country. He also appealed to the global Caritas network and the international community to help those affected by the conflict currently being fought.
French and African troops are trying to prevent Islamic rebels who have taken control of northern Mali from advancing further.
Archbishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako said, “A new period of suffering is beginning for the people of Mali. We would welcome support so that we can help the increasing number of displaced and refugees.”
Reports say up to 400,000 people have fled their homes either to southern Mali or to neighbouring countries since the rebels began advancing from the north last year. Some 18 million people lived through a severe food crisis in the region last year. It is feared that influxes of refugees will deplete low […]
Helen Blakesley visited Mali in November 2012 for CRS (Catholic Relief Services is a Caritas member).
By Helen Blakesley
Mali, a country nestled in the middle of West Africa, has become a nation divided in two. Ever since a military coup destabilized the political landscape in March 2012, various rebel groups have occupied (and are vying for control of) the north—a huge swath of area. Reports of atrocities against northern Malians abound: Killings, maiming, rape and the recruitment of child soldiers are everyday occurrences.
Since March, hundreds of thousands of people have left their homes and fled to neighboring countries. Hundreds of thousands more have moved south, many to the nation’s capital, Bamako. These are some of the people CRS is helping, and these are the people I have come to meet.
We visit the Touré family at their home in the Attbougou neighborhood. Already a family of 24, they have welcomed 32 […]
The stability of Mali and its neighbours are at stake. Since early 2012, rebel forces have taken a huge area of land, starting in the north of the country and are now close to the capital, Bamako.
Military intervention led by France and with the support of African countries is underway.
Over 350,000 have fled their homes to go further south or to neighbouring countries since last year. Caritas Mali says that people urgently need shelter, food, water and hygiene articles.
“We’re tired, we’re very tired,” said Ibrahima Diallo, who fled south from his home near Timbuktu, in the north of the country.
Caritas in Mali has been working with Catholic Relief Services (a US member of Caritas) on development projects which have been continuing during the time of unrest.
The director of Caritas in the town of Mopti, which lies in the path of rebel advancement says,“Giving those who have been displaced somewhere […]
“We left our village because we were starving,” said one elderly refugee from Mali. She has come to a relief camp in Mangaizé in northern Niger where Caritas Niger (CADEV) works.
“I left my village when the rebels attacked,” said another woman. “I escaped at the last moment because I could not find all of my children. I’m here with the two youngest ones, but I don’t know what’s happened to the eldest two.”
They’re both new arrivals, coming to join 3000 other refugees from Mali in Mangaizé camp. Some have been here for four months. They’re fleeing conflict in northern Mali between different rebel groups and government forces.
They are also fleeing hunger. Mali is experiencing the same food crisis as much of the Sahel in Western Africa, but the violence means aid agencies can’t get through to people in need, especially in the vast rebel held areas.
“The first refugees who […]