Aid workers resume operations in northern Mali following truce

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A Rwandan peacekeeper from MINUSMA Formed Police Unit (FPU) speaks to children while patrolling the streets of Gao, in northern Mali. UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Aid workers have resumed operations in the northern region of Mali following deliveries of relief items such as water, food and medical equipment by United Nations agencies.

The UN Humanitarian Office (OCHA) says some 4,000 people fled the town of Kidal, in northern Mali, after clashes between government forces and rebels over the previous ten days.

About 1,000 of the displaced are staying with host families in the nearby town of Gao.

OCHA's Jens Laerke said the UN is doing all it can for the local population.

"Since April, a rapidly worsening security situation has prevented United Nations agencies from being physically present in Kidal, but agencies have continued to carry out their programs through NGO partners and local organizations. Those partners on the ground in Kidal have provided assistance since the beginning of the violence, mainly in terms of medical care to the wounded and by tracking displacement of people."  (24″)

Some displaced people have been able to return to Kidal from the farm lands around the town where they had gone into hiding.

Humanitarian workers are focusing on carrying out assessments of the needs of people displaced by the fighting.

The priority is to re-establish access to clean water, and provide support to health facilities in Kidal and Gao.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration:  1’21″


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