Thousands planning to return home to northern Mali

Listen /

Abdullah and his family live in a room normally used for storage. They fled from the town of Diabaly last week when fighting broke out and headed to Bamako.© UNHCR/H.Caux

Thousands of people displaced by conflict in the north of Mali are expected to head home soon, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, which says it's gearing up to assist them as they make their journey.

 UNHCR says it hopes to have proper access to Gao and other cities in the north as soon as security conditions allow. In total, an estimated 380,000 people have fled northern Mali since the start of the conflict a year ago – 230,000 of those have been internally displaced, 150,000 others have become refugees in Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Algeria.

Adrian Edwards, UNHCR Spokesperson, says that supplies are getting to some of those in desperate need.

"We are urgently bringing into Mali relief items for 9,000 families, that's some 54,000 people, including sleeping mats, blankets, plastic tarpaulins, jerry cans, mosquito nets. On Tuesday, a distribution of relief items is scheduled to start in the town in Mopti, which is home to an estimated 40,000 internally displaced people at the moment."

Even though some internally displaced people are now preparing to return home, conditions in the north of Mali are still extremely difficult – with reports of serious shortages of food, clean water and fuel.

Nicki Chadwick, UN Radio, Geneva.

Duration: 1’26″

Filed under Today's News.
UN Radio Daily News Programme
UN Radio Daily News Programme
Updated at 1800 GMT, Monday to Friday
Loading the player ...

CONNECT

 

September 2014
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930