February 11, 2012

Malian Refugees - Current Situation

Malian Refugees - Current Situation:

(Summary, in English)
Jeune Afrique (Baba Ahmed) Interview with Assilakane Ag Intereouit, president of the regional committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
1. 30,000 internally displaced refugees in Mali, including:
2. 26,000 are around Menaka (region of Gao)
3. 4,000 are around Aguelhok (region of Kidal)
4. an undetermined number are around Timbuktu
5. an undetermined number are in the open desert without water and food
6. The situation is critical
7. Red Cross is conducting census of displaced people around Tessalit; this will inflate the numbers
8. Red Cross first does a census before intervening with aid
9. At Aguelhok, the Red Cross has distributed: 4 tons of cooking oil, tomatoes, lentils, pasta, and also: blankets, mats, and mosquito nets [to protect against malaria]
10. At Tessalit, the Red Cross has distributed: warm winter clothing for the children, and cooking oil
11. What is most urgent:
12. We need: medicine for headaches, palpitations, fatigue, stress
13. We need: medicine for the prevention of epidemics
14. At Kidal: the situation in the refugee camps is alarming
15. At Tessalit: the situation is alarming, especially 25 km south of there where the population has gathered, and there is nothing there
16. The Algerian border: 2,000 displaced of the Al Khalil group, 18 km from the border
17. At Aguelhok: 4,000 people are installed in 4 locations around this ghost town
18. At Timbuktu: the situation is similar to Aguelhok
19. In the open desert: some make-shift refugee camps are in the open desert
20. Red Cross has freedom to move around and go to displaced populations, and this is a very good thing
21. Malian government: has donated 10 tons of grain in Aguelhok, and 3 tons in Tessalit, but it is far from being enough
22. [Red Cross] "I suppose that the state [Malian government] has slowed its aid because of the upsurge in fighting."

Propos recueillis par Baba Ahmed, à Bamako, February 11, 2012 at 11h:58