Resurgence of Communal, Armed Conflict in Northern Mali Causes Population Displacement

Bamako – The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Mali has significantly increased over the past weeks due to the recent resurgence of communal violence and armed conflict in Northern Mali. The number of IDPs dropped down to 38,172 individuals (7,716 households) in December 2017 from 40,743 individuals in October 2017, according to the last DTM report published in December 2017 by the National Directorate for Social Development of the Ministry of Solidarity and Humanitarian Action.

However, due to recent resurgence of communal violence and armed conflict, an additional 8,164 new IDPs have been registered in the regions of Mopti, Menaka, Timbuktu and Gao, bringing the total number of IDPs to 46,336. This has put significant pressure on humanitarian capacity given the fragile security situation in that part of the country. Northern Mali still holds the largest number of IDPs especially due to the deterioration of the security situation.

IOM expected an end to internal displacement in Mali by the end of 2017, provided there was no resurgence of armed conflict or communal violence to complement the provision of adequate humanitarian assistance to IDPs and host communities. Unfortunately, in addition to the tensions in Northern Mali, the international community has struggled to mobilize the necessary financial support to assist vulnerable communities and IDPs.

IOM and its partners intend to respond to the new wave of displacement by assessing the needs of the displaced population and providing the necessary assistance, funds permitting.

In response to the 2012 crisis that spawned the displacement of over 500,000 people, IOM started the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) program in close collaboration with the Government of Mali. The objective was to provide up-to-date information on movements of IDPs and returnees, as well as on the needs of the population affected by the conflict.

While still providing technical support, IOM handed over the management of the DTM to the government in November 2014 – transferring the data collection process and analysis to the National Directorate for Social Development (DNDS), whose staff had supported DTM field operations from the outset. They now collect and analyse the information available on displacement.

DTM activities are now carried out in coordination with IOM and are funded by USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), the Government of Japan, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and IOM.

For more information, please contact Seydou Tangara, IOM Mali, Tel: +223 76 42 63 59, Email: