Mali + 1 more

Mali: UNHCR Operational Update, 1 - 31 May 2016

Situation Report
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Mauritanian refugees and community members are learning basic literacy skills in nine literacy centres in the region of Kayes.

refugee returnees have been identified in the regions of Mopti, Gao and Timbuktu to receive a one-time cash-based assistance.

Mauritanian refugees participated in sensitization sessions related to the importance of birth certificates and the process for naturalization.


USD 49.2 million
requested for the operation


  • Six groups of 50 young Mauritanian refugees earned approximately US$ 14,532 by conducting cattle fattening activities, as part of the ‘Youth at Work’ UNHCR-FAO project in Kayes.

  • 120 protection monitors -through UNHCR’s partner AMSS- were deployed to the regions of Gao, Kidal, Mopti, Menaka and Timbuktu to collect, refer and report protection risks and human rights violations faced by refugee returnees, IDPs and host populations.

  • 1,691 refugee returnees were identified by Mercy Corps, UNHCR’s partner, in the regions of Gao, Mopti and Timbuktu to receive a one-time cash-based assistance to help them reintegrate in a safer and dignified manner.

Operational Context

Mali continues to experience a volatile security situation with deteriorating conditions in certain parts of the North and Centre where terrorist and criminal attacks are on the rise. Violations of basic human rights are still reported, prices of basic necessities are high, and local populations are in dire need of access to public services, documentation, water, and food security. Some 134,262 Malian refugees remain in neighbouring countries and 37,801 internally displaced persons in Mali are waiting to see whether conditions in their area of origin improve to enable them to return in safety and dignity.

The Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, signed one year ago, continues to face difficult challenges as a result of the slow implementation of security-related matters (e.g. cantonment and DDR), national reconciliation and confidence-building measures. Terrorist and criminal groups continue to exploit the slow progress of the peace process and the growing discontent of local populations over the lack of access to basic services and other concerns. This led to a visible rise in attacks against national and international security forces over the past month with international civilian personnel increasingly at risk of being targeted. Recent attacks directed against MINUSMA Force led to the deaths of 12 peacekeepers with many more injured during the month of May alone.

In Gao and Menaka regions, the security situation has largely deteriorated with an increasing number of attacks against national and international security forces, a rise of criminality in urban centres and security incidents along the main highway connecting the two regions. During the month of May, more than 15 incidents of robberies and looting by armed individuals were reported, especially along the route of Ansongo linking Gao to Menaka. In the region of Timbuktu, an elevated number of criminal incidents have also been reported in the district of Goundam and Timbuktu, particularly along the Timbuktu-Goundam route.

In the district of Tenenkou in Mopti region, violent inter-community conflict between members of the Bambara community (agriculturalists) and Fula community (pastoralists) at the beginning of the month triggered a forced internal displacement of 137 persons; as well an estimated 800 persons were forced to flee an inter-community conflict in the district of Niono in Segou region, contributing to the observed tendency of sliding of insecurity issues from the north to the centre of Mali. Government mediation efforts and social cohesion sensitizations were carried out in the aftermath of the violent clashes, but the tensions remain high.

The absence of government authorities in several localities in the north and centre, the uncontrolled circulation of arms and armed individuals as well as delays in the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) and the cantonment process are some factors leading to the rise of insecurity throughout the regions.

The ongoing insecurity continues to destabilize local communities, jeopardizing the protection of civilians, and preventing forcedly displaced persons from returning to their homes, while further threatening their access to already limited basic social services. The insecurity also compromises their ability to re-engage in socio-economic activities critical to rebuilding their lives. Access to persons of concern to deliver humanitarian protection and assistance in the north and centre of Mali has become a significant challenge for UNHCR and other actors. The need to uphold humanitarian principles is of utmost importance to counter the shrinking of humanitarian space necessary to conduct life-saving activities. Incorporating protection mainstreaming principles and promoting a meaningful access, safety and dignity for humanitarian aid remains key to humanitarian actors.