Over a quarter of a million Malians displaced by conflict

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A Malian refugee woman in Mangaize, northern Niger, ponders her future

The conflict in northern Mali has forced over a quarter of a million people to flee their homes, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

There have clashes between government troops and Tuareg rebels who want to secede, while Islamist militants who want to impose sharia law in that part of the country are also involved in the conflict.

OCHA says the conflict has exacerbated a larger food insecurity and nutrition crisis affecting up to 15 million people.

Corinne Momal-Vanian is the United Nations spokesperson in Geneva.

"As of 20th April at least 270,000 people had fled their homes as a result of the conflict in northern Mali including over 130,000 Malian refugees in neighbouring countries, including Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Algeria. Improving access for assessments and service delivery remains a top priority in northern Mali. The present situation makes it particularly difficult to get information and assess the needs and respond."

(Duration: 26")

Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court says it is closely following developments in Mali.

It says that crimes such as killings, abductions, rapes and conscription of children may have been committed by various groups in the northern part of the country.

Filed under Today's News.
UN Radio Daily News Programme
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