23 March 2018

Mali: Bandits Sustain Reign of Terror in Mali

Bamako — THE Islamic extremist group, Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam Wa al-Muslmeen (JNIM or Group to Support Islam and Muslims), has killed more than 80 defense and security forces, peacekeepers and civilians in Mali.

At least 38 security personnel, eight peacekeeping soldiers of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and 35 civilians have been killed since November 2017.

JNIM is seeking to impose its own restrictive interpretation of Islam on the people.

Persistent insecurity has paralysed the local economy and pushed public service providers in the areas of education, health and justice to leave central and northern regions.

Communities are victims of daily threats, targeted killings, kidnappings and indiscriminate attacks.

At the end of February 2018, more than 657 schools were forced to close in the central and northern regions, affecting over 190 000 school children.

Suliman Baldo the UN independent expert on the situation of human rights in Mali, expressed concern over the deterioration situation in the West African country.

He decried the JNIM's violations of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

The humanitarian community in Mali requires $263 million (R3 billion) to meet the needs of 1,56 million people affected by the terror.

Refugees need food, protection, health emergencies, water, hygiene, sanitation and education.

"Mali, with the help of the international community, needs technical cooperation and financial support in these areas," Baldo said.

There are fears of further instability with Mali heading for general elections in four months.

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