Appeals & Response Plans
When Malians go to the polls in the country's runoff presidential election on Sunday, threats of terror attacks again will be on their minds, just as they were two weeks ago during the first round of elections when terror attacks disrupted several polling stations across the country.
Malians will be thinking not only about how the threat of terrorism will affect the elections, but also about how the elections will shape the country's fight against militant groups with ties to al-Qaida and the Islamic State groups.
BAMAKO — Malians went to the polls Sunday, in what’s widely expected to be the first round of Mali’s presidential elections. The atmosphere was calm in the capital but instances of violence were reported in other parts of the country.
Voting has been slow in the Malian capital Bamako. At 8 a.m., there were very few people at the voting stations, in keeping with the low rate of voter card collection by the Bamako electorate. And some were even less lucky.
Officials in Mali are counting the votes from Sunday's presidential election, marred by violence, rocket attacks, threats and suspected fake polling places.
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is seeking a second term. Twenty-four other candidates are challenging him.
Voter turnout was reported to be light across much of Mali, including the capital, Bamako. Only about half the voters in two regions received voter cards, meaning more than 800,000 people may have been unable to cast ballots.
GENEVA — "I was 12 years old when I was raped. I did not understand what was happening."
Nelle is now 36 years old. But in 1993 when war broke out in Burundi, armed men came to her village near the capital, Bujumbura. They killed her mother and father and six siblings. She was raped, but she survived.
“I saw people were killing each other. They were running away and killing each other. I hid myself under dead bodies for five days,” she said.
By Katarina Hoije
BAMAKO — Recent clashes in northern and central Mali are hampering the deployment of humanitarian assistance, leaving vulnerable populations with limited or no access to health care, food, water and shelter.
While non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, can access most areas, banditry and continued attacks on roads slow down operations while posing a threat to humanitarian staff, says Badjougue Dambele, humanitarian coordinator for Oxfam.
May 05, 2016 11:57 AM
Another door may be closing for Syrians fleeing the conflict in their country, this time in Africa.Mauritania was one of the last countries allowing free entry to Syrians. But in February, it too began demanding visas as officials in North Africa and the Sahel try to stem the flow of migrants and refugees traveling across the Sahara in hopes of reaching Europe.
November 25, 2014 1:28 PM
BAMAKO—Human rights organizations have filed a complaint on behalf of 80 survivors of rape and sexual violence during the occupation of northern Mali.
More than 2,000 women and girls were subject to rape or forced marriages in 2012-2013 when Islamist extremists and separatist rebels took control of Gao and Timbuktu. This is the first independent attempt to bring justice for the victims.
KAYES, MALI— In Kayes, medical staff and national health officials are working to trace, monitor and get health facilities up and running after Mali reported its first case of Ebola last week. There are dozens of people who are in isolation at the regional hospital where the two-year-old girl was treated before dying of the virus. More cases are expected in the coming days.
Katarina Hoije, Jessica Berman
BAMAKO, MALI / WASHINGTON— A clinical trial of a promising Ebola vaccine has gotten underway in the west African country of Mali, which borders Guinea, the epicenter of the deadly viral epidemic that now has killed 4,000 people.
This phase of testing of the experimental vaccine against Ebola began this week in Mali when it was given to three health workers who volunteered. The health workers would be the first to fight the disease if it broke out in Bamako.
Peter Clottey March 06, 2014
An African Union official says the organization’s Mission to Mali and the Sahel (MISAHEL) has launched a cooperation initiative with countries in the Sahel to combat terrorism as part of efforts to stabilize the region.
DAKAR, SENEGAL — The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization says schools in Mali have been training cotton farmers about how to use natural substances in order to reduce the use of dangerous pesticides by 92 percent, while maintaining normal crop yields. The natural pesticides also may save money.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization found that the introduction of new pest-control methods to cotton growers in Mali “nearly eliminated” the use of toxic pesticides.
SAG-NIONIOGO CAMP, BURKINA FASO — As hundreds of thousands of displaced Malians begin returning to their homes in the north, post-conflict ethnic reconciliation remains a key challenge for officials in Bamako.
But at the Sag-Nioniogo refugee camp in central Burkina Faso, where an ethnic patchwork of uprooted northern Malians have found ways to get past the tensions and live in harmony, divisions over the question of an independent northern Mali persist.
October 22, 2013
GENEVA — The United Nations says it is working on an integrated strategy to deal with the recurring crises in Africa's Sahel region. The U.N. says new approaches are needed to make vulnerable people in the nine Sahelian countries able to cope with the humanitarian emergencies that keep them in poverty and dependent on the international community for aid.
Authorities in Mali say the death toll from a boat accident near the town of Konna last week has more than tripled to 72.
Security Minister Sada Samake says rescuers found were able to refloat the boat and when they did, they found more bodies inside.
During a Friday news conference, government officials said more than 200 people survived the accident.
Investigators say the boat was overloaded with passengers and cargo when it broke apart and sank on the Niger River.
July 27, 2013
BAMAKO — Almost a million Malians remain displaced after ethnic and jihadist violence spread across the north following last year’s coup d’état.
Despite fresh memories of conflict and atrocity, some of those displaced are seeking to return to their hometowns to vote in Sunday’s presidential election.
In a country that was home to only six psychiatrists before the war, aid agencies are seeking to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress, particularly among vulnerable children.
BAMAKO — Malians rank peace and stability as top priorities for the country's next president. They go to the polls Sunday amid tensions in the far northern town of Kidal. It has been occupied by the Tuareg separatist group, the MNLA, since a French-led military intervention against jihadist groups in northern Mali began in January.
What to do about Kidal?
Mali's 27 presidential candidates have tried to strike a delicate balance, pledging to get tough on the country's vast security challenges while fostering reconciliation.
Heather Murdock July 17, 2013
ABUJA, NIGERIA — West African leaders have called for $25 million in international aid to help secure the upcoming elections in Mali. As Guinea-Bissau also prepares for elections, leaders want an end to international sanctions on that country.
Heads of state from the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, are meeting this week in the Nigerian capital ahead of elections in Mali and Guinea-Bissau, two countries in turmoil.
DAKAR, SENEGAL — As the rainy season begins in West and Central Africa, meteorological experts are warning of above average rainfall, flash floods and overflowing rivers in the western Sahel. Aid agencies say that early preparation is key to reducing the risks associated with such natural disasters, as well as building up people’s resilience to deal with the aftermath.
Experts from the African Center of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) say that rainfall in West and Central Africa could exceed 130 percent of normal precipitation this year.
Last updated on: June 12, 2013 7:06 PM
A team of officials from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is in Mali to assess the security and political situation in the approach to the country’s July 28 presidential election.
Sonny Ugoh, the ECOWAS communications director, said the fact finding mission is part of the regional bloc’s plans to restore constitutional rule in Mali and maintain its territorial integrity.
“This is consistent with the requirement of our protocol on democracy and good governance…,” Ugoh said.
NIAMEY — Niger is offering cash rewards to anyone reporting a case of Guinea worm as part of efforts to permanently eradicate the parasitic disease in the impoverished West African nation, the health ministry said.
Though it once afflicted around 3.5 million people annually across Asia and Africa, according to the U.S.-based Carter Center, Guinea worm disease is now on the verge of being eradicated worldwide.