Hundreds of thousands flee homes in Mali amid deadly militia attacks

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The first victims of this cycle of violence are civilians. They are killed, they are maimed, they are threatened; and their only chance of survival is to flee,’ rights group says

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes in Mali amid deadly militia attacks on villages in the country’s central region.

Over 200,000 have fled so far this year, according to figures from the Rapid Response Mechanism, an emergency response system designed to help deliver aid to vulnerable people.

Several massacres since the start of 2019 have killed hundreds of civilians.

Hassane Hamadou, country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Mali, said: “The first victims of this cycle of violence are civilians. They are killed, they are maimed, they are threatened; and their only chance of survival is to flee. Today, people are caught between armed groups, self-defence militias, and military forces.”

“The protection of civilians is a major concern, especially in places where the state authority has been absent. Humanitarian actors should be given unrestricted access to these people to deliver aid and ensure their protection.”