It states that 3,700 people have been recently displaced following an assault on the town of N’Tillit
24 Jan. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has demanded this Tuesday to strengthen support for those displaced by the latest attacks in Mali, shaken for years by the operations of various jihadist groups, and has called for a “greater solidarity” with these people.
The agency’s representative in Mali, Mohamed Touré, stressed that “violence and threats by armed groups have forced Malians and refugees to flee to find safety.” Among the latest cases is that of the town of N’Tillit (north), where more than 3,700 Burkinabe refugees and Malian residents have had to flee to Gao, 120 kilometers away.
“The current threat in N’Tillit, where Burkinabe refugees have found refuge for the past few years after escaping from Burkina Faso, has displaced them for a second or third time, causing even greater trauma,” he explained.
Thus, he has maintained that “since 208, Burkinabe refugees have been forced to cross the border into Mali, despite the precarious situation in both countries.” Mali hosts more than 60,000 refugees, including 25,000 from Burkina Faso, while 440,000 Malians remain displaced in the country.
“The number of arrivals in Gao could continue to increase while the rest of the population of N’Tillit fear reprisals after several ultimatums by an armed group,” warned Touré, who stressed that the majority of the displaced are women and children. who walked for hours without food.
In this sense, he pointed out that these displaced persons “now live under trees or in makeshift shelters with little food and water.” “Pregnant and lactating women with children, the elderly, people with disabilities and unaccompanied children urgently need health care,” she said.
For this reason, it has emphasized that “UNHCR and its partners support local authorities in assessing and responding to the needs of forcibly displaced families in Gao”, while coordinating a humanitarian response for refugees and internally displaced throughout the African country.
“Despite these efforts, the needs of the displaced remain enormous, given that violence by armed groups continues to force the population to flee,” said Touré, who has called on the international community “to show greater solidarity with the displaced in Mali and neighboring countries through urgent financial support to humanitarian organizations to provide vital assistance”.
Mali, like other countries in the Sahel, has been registering an increasing number of jihadist attacks in recent years, carried out both by the Al Qaeda affiliate in the region and by the Islamic State, which has also increased intercommunal violence. and caused the displacement of tens of thousands of people.