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57,000 flee renewed violence in Mali: UN

30 May 2015 11:59


57,000 flee renewed violence in Mali: UN

Renewed fighting between militant groups operating in Mali’s restive northern areas has forced some 57,000 people to flee their homes over the past four weeks, the UN refugee agency says.

William Spindler, the spokesman for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), announced the figure in the Swiss city of Geneva on Friday.

Spindler said the displaced Malians have fled their villages due to their fear of violence or forced recruitment by armed groups operating in the West African country.

The newly displaced add to more than 43,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) throughout the landlocked state, who have not yet returned to their homes since the Mali conflict broke out three years ago, he added.

“The volatile security situation is hindering access for humanitarian workers to all affected areas and the growing insecurity in the region is making the provision of protection and assistance to the newly-displaced very challenging,” the UN official said.
Many women and children are among the displaced, he said, adding that those uprooted from their homes are in dire need of food, water and shelter.

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