Mali: 10s of Ks Flee Conflict in North

Home| Sitemap | Contact Us

Mali: 10s of Ks Flee Conflict in North
By: Tanya Kaur Bindra, Al-Jazeera
26 September 2012
 

Before, we were joyous and made our songs with the sand. Then the bandits came with the guns and chased us from our land.

There is unmistakable sadness in the words spoken by Al Husseini Ag, a Tuareg pastoralist from the lands surrounding Tessalit, a city close to Mali`s border with Algeria. After those he refers to as the bandits gained control of the region in March, taking his livestock with them, he fled to the capital city of Bamako with more than 50 other nomad families for fear of death.

He is now among the tens of thousands of people in Bamako displaced by the conflict in Mali`s northern territories.

After rebel groups took over much of northern Mali, following a military coup against Malian President Amadou Toumani Touré in March, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates 450,000 people have left the region. Former residents of Timbuktu, Kidal and Gao, cities now under the occupation of Islamists linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other hardline groups, comprise the bulk of those displaced.

More than 265,000 travelled to refugee camps in Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso, while 185,800 more have been internally displaced.

Many of the displaced live with extended families and friends. Others live under whatever shelter they can find. The influx of people is exacerbating an already rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation as food prices continue to rise and health services decline. Many international aid organisations have suspended their activities in the north due to security risks, making the most at-risk displaced populations hard to reach.

Those displaced say they are in need of adequate shelter, food and clean water. They complain that they cannot find work. Young people want to study but can`t afford private education. Light-skinned Tuaregs are fearful of being associated with the MNLA, a Tuareg rebel group, and feel discriminated against.

Yet above all, they miss their homes and their way of life.

Al Husseini says that city life is foreign to him and he is afraid of to wander the streets of Bamako. He explains that where he comes from, there are no houses. He relied on trees and animal skins to provide shelter. His sense of home was anchored in his familiarity of the land, trees and animals. Home was where music was made. Home was freedom of movement.

Now we are no longer happy. Before, we were joyous. We had music. Now we don`t have anything.

Original article

Themes
• Access to natural resources
• Access to natural resources
• Access to natural resources
• Accompanying social processes
• Accompanying social processes
• Adverse possession
• Advocacy
• Advocacy
• Advocacy
• Architecture
• Architecture
• Armed / ethnic conflict
• Armed / ethnic conflict
• Basic services
• Basic services
• Basic services
• Children
• Children
• Commodification
• Commodification
• Cultural Heritage
• Cultural Heritage
• Demographic manipulation
• Destruction of habitat
• Destruction of habitat
• Destruction of habitat
• Disability
• Disability
• Disaster mitigation
• Disaster mitigation
• Discrimination
• Discrimination
• Discrimination
• Displaced
• Displaced
• Displaced
• Displacement
• Displacement
• Displacement
• Dispossession
• Dispossession
• Dispossession
• Education
• Education
• Elderly
• Elderly
• Energy
• Energy
• Epidemics, diseases
• Epidemics, diseases
• ESC rights
• ESC rights
• ESC rights
• Extraterritorial obligations
• Extraterritorial obligations
• Fact finding mission/field research
• Farmers/Peasants
• Financialization
• Financialization
• Financialization
• Food (rights, sovereignty, crisis)
• Food (rights, sovereignty, crisis)
• Forced evictions
• Forced evictions
• Forced evictions
• Gentrification
• Gentrification
• Health
• Health
• Historic heritage sites
• Historic heritage sites
• Homeless
• Homeless
• Homeless
• Housing crisis
• Housing rights
• Housing rights
• Housing rights
• Human rights
• Human rights
• Human rights
• Immigrants
• Immigrants
• Indigenous peoples
• Indigenous peoples
• Informal settlements
• Internal migrants
• Internal migrants
• Internal migrants
• Land rights
• Landless
• Legal frameworks
• Legal frameworks
• Legal frameworks
• Livelihoods
• Local Governance
• Local Governance
• Local Governance
• Low income
• Norms and standards
• Norms and standards
• Norms and standards
• Property rights
• Public policies
• Public policies
• Public policies
• Public programs and budgets
• Public programs and budgets
• Public programs and budgets
• Refugees
• Refugees
• Religious
• Religious
• Reparations / restitution of rights
• Research
• Research
• Right to the city
• Right to the city
• Security of tenure
• Security of tenure
• Security of tenure
• Stateless
• Stateless
• Subsidies
• Subsidies
• Temporary shelter
• Temporary shelter
• Tenants
• Tenants
• UN system
• UN system
• UN system
• Unemployed
• Unemployed
• Urban planning
• Urban planning
• Water&sanitation
• Water&sanitation
• Women
• Women
• Youth
• Youth

HLRN Publications

Land Times



All rights reserved to HIC-HLRN -Disclaimer