IRIN | 11.03.2019 beschreibt an mehreren Beispielen, wie vertriebene und an den Rand gedrängte Bevölkerungen durch militärische Operationen in Mitleidenschaft gezogen werden. Der Konflikt hat sich von Norden zunehmend ins Zentrum des Landes verlagert.

[…] Since a 2013 French-led military intervention that dislodged Islamist groups from key towns in northern Mali, the country has seen a flurry of security interventions including: a UN peacekeeping mission known as MINUSMA, a French counter-terrorism force called Operation Barkhane, an EU military training mission and troops from five Sahelian states known as the G5 Sahel joint force, or FC-G5S.

These international forces as well as the Malian army have been accused of stoking local conflicts, abuses against civilians, and failing to contain the violence. Islamist groups have reassembled in Mali’s desert north, expanded into the centre, and the violence has spilled over into neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.

Military forces have faced repeated attacks by Islamist groups, with more peacekeepers killed in Mali than any other active mission. Last month, three Guinean peacekeepers were killed during an attack on their vehicle in Siby, close to the capital, Bamako.

In this increasingly crowded security landscape, humanitarians say attacks are creating risks for their staff in the field, who operate in close proximity to military forces. To mitigate the danger, aid programmes are frequently reduced or even suspended when military operations begin. […]

One of the most striking symbols of the current humanitarian crisis in Mali can be found in the capital, Bamako. Hundreds of Fulani herders who have been displaced by recent inter-communal violence in Mali’s central Mopti region have fled here, and are now living on a toxic rubbish dump next to a crowded livestock market. The residents complain of sickness and hunger. They say four children have died of sickness in the past few months. Their flimsy tents – covered with bits of plastic and cardboard scavenged from the piles of rubbish that surround them – are unlikely to survive the coming rains.

[…] While the worst of the violence in Mali was previously in the country’s desert north, today it is concentrated in the centre, where a new, grassroots Islamist insurgency has emerged, triggering cycles of inter-communal and militia violence.

Aid groups say the varying dynamics of conflict in the north and centre are impacting humanitarians differently. In the north, NGOs and their staff are often victims of theft because of the perception they represent a certain degree of material wealth. Since 2017, most have stopped using their own vehicles and instead hire 4x4s from local communities.

“Humanitarians are sources of wealth as they employ staff, contract with suppliers, and so on,” said Franck Vannetelle, Mali country director for the International Rescue Committee.

Banditry is less of a problem in central Mali but local regulations – often motivated by military concerns – are having an impact on humanitarian operations. For example, last year the government announced a ban on motorbikes and pick-up vehicles in certain areas to prevent armed groups from moving freely.[…]

„In militarised Mali, humanitarian responders say aid is an afterthought“