Mali: Child victims in humanitarian crisis

The United Nations Organization has voiced its grave concern over the humanitarian situation in northern Mali, where 320,000 people have been uprooted by fighting and where children are increasingly the victims of violence, abuse, injury and murder. The international community has to date paid only 21% of the budget for humanitarian programmes.

When fighting between the government forces and Tuareg rebels broke out in January this year, this was a stepping stone towards a spiral of violence which now includes several rebel and separatist armed groups - government forces, Islamists and Tuaregs. The result is 320,000 people uprooted and worryingly, increasing evidence that children are becoming the victims of shocking levels of violence and abuse.

The UNO has denounced in a news release (*) that in the last three months, at least 175 boys have been forced to take up arms, eight girls have been sexually abused, two boys have been killed by explosive devices and eighteen others have been injured. What is worse, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

UNICEF's Representative in Mali, Theophane Nikyema, declares "These numbers are reason for alarm especially because they represent only a partial picture of the child protection context in the north - an area where access for humanitarian workers is limited."

The humanitarian situation of the population in the region has also been affected by a drought and rising food prices. Schools have closed due to a spiral in violence and insecurity, affecting around 300,000 children in basic education in the Sahel region. As western countries spend billions of dollars in supporting terrorists to destabilise first Libya (whose resources and wealth they coveted and whose humanitarian programmes  across Africa were costing western banks billions in lost interest rates) and now, Syria (a strategic stepping stone towards the ultimate war with Iran), only twelve million dollars has been raised for the humanitarian budget to save Mali's children.

What a telling epitaph for Messrs. Obama, Cameron, Clinton and Hague, together with their new French poodles, Hollande and Laurent Fabius, whose imperialistic schemes seem to follow those of their predecessors, Sarkozy and Juppé to the letter. But what to expect from the FUKUS three (France, UK, US)? After what they did in Libya...who could be surprised at the depths of depravity to which they have sunk?


Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey


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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey