Silver Lining

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French war creates humanitarian crisis in Mali

(File photo)

Press TV

The French-led war in Mali has caused a serious humanitarian crisis and has displaced tens of thousands of people, many of whom reside in refugee camps in neighboring countries in deplorable conditions.

Malian refugees, who have fled to their western neighbor, Mauritania, have said they have no plans to return, Press TV reported.

They said they fear insecurity and reprisals due to the ongoing French-led war on the country. Some 74,000 Malians have taken refuge in Mbera camp in Mauritania alone.

The people of northern Mali say the French war and the ruling junta are blocking the flow of humanitarian assistance to the war-affected areas.

The northern Malians say the blockade of the area by French and Malian troops has undermined the activities of healthcare workers in several refugee camps. Most of the camps have dire shortages of necessities such as food and medicine.

A UN humanitarian official said on February 27 that Mali remains in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

About “200,000 children are not getting any education and haven’t for the last year,” said John Ging, director of operations for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Approximately 170,000 Malians fled to neighboring countries since April last year. There are some 53,000 people in Niger and 74,000 in Mauritania, and another 260,000 are internally displaced in Mali.

France launched a war in Mali on January 11 under the pretext of halting the advance of rebel fighters in the country.

On February 1, Amnesty International said “serious human rights breaches” — including the killing of children – were occurring in the French war in Mali…

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