from RUDD KONTE in Bamako, Mali
BAMAKO, (CAJ News) – MORE than 1 100 civilians have been killed following attacks by non-state armed groups in northern Mali over the past year.
The latest in a spate of terror is the incursion that left ten civilians dead at a village in Inekar circle, Menaka, on Sunday.
This is the fifth attack against civilians in this area since January, with around 30 people killed altogether.
A humanitarian spokesperson lamented that civilians continue to bear the brunt of conflicts in the Gao and Menaka regions, with increasing pressure exerted by armed groups on civilians, blockage of villages and cities, targeted attacks against civilians, presence of improvised explosive devices and rise in criminality.
Since February 1, the two regions accounted for more than 70 security incidents, with at least 40 people killed and 41 abducted.
More than 100 000 people are forcibly displaced in Gao and Menaka regions. Almost 15 000 civilians have found refuge in Kidal.
Children are the worst affected by the displacements, as they comprise 62 percent of the total Internally Displaced People (IDP) in Mali.
Militants perpetrating the terror have burned down villages and stolen livestock.
Conflict has engulfed the West African country since 2012 when insurgent groups began a campaign for the independence or greater autonomy for northern Mali.
The nation suffered coups in 2020 and 2021, further deepening the crisis.
– CAJ News