Bamako — HUNDREDS of schools have closed in Mali as the insecurity battering the West African country persists.
Humanitarian agencies confirmed the banditry had led to the closure of 500 schools, which represents a sharp increase from recent years. Some 296 schools had been closed in areas affected by the security crisis at the end of the school year 2015/16.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said the reason for this increase, besides the persistent insecurity especially in the Mopti region, was the absence of qualified teachers as well as the lack of political and administrative authorities.
The security situation remains volatile in the northern and central regions of the country where crime and terrorism are real threats to populations. Robberies targeting humanitarian and political-administrative authorities also persist. There were 68 such incidents reported the whole of 2016 but for the first half of 2017, there are already 63 cases.
Food insecurity caused by the clashes blamed on rebel groups affects than 3,8 million people, which 20 percent of the Malian population. Armed groups are preventing access to populations in need. Turmoil has characterised Mali following a coup in 2012.
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta's government has struggled to bring stability. - CAJ News