Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May 2016, 11:51 GMT

Mali: Fear of mass displacement as result of proposed military intervention

Publisher Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC)
Publication Date 16 November 2012
Cite as Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC), Mali: Fear of mass displacement as result of proposed military intervention, 16 November 2012, available at: [accessed 25 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Uncertainties remain as to the timing of a forthcoming internationally-backed military intervention, intended to recapture northern Mali from Islamist rebels. Plans to finalise the operational details moved forward during a five-day meeting of Malian and international experts held in Bamako earlier this month.

The plans were submitted to the West African regional bloc ECOWAS for formal endorsement, after which they will be presented to the UN Security Council. Engaged in negotiations, the Islamist group Ansar Dine recently announced that it would allow humanitarian actors to provide assistance in the Timbuktu area. Nevertheless, in the absence of comprehensive plans to protect civilians, a military intervention would likely cause mass displacement and dire humanitarian consequences for a population already drained by months of hardship.

Improved access to northern Mali and profiling exercises conducted in Bamako have led to a significant increase in the estimate of IDPs across Mali, now believed to be around 203,800 people. Further updates are expected within the coming weeks as humanitarian partners and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Solidarity and the Elderly (MAHSPA) conduct assessments. National-level profiling remains hampered in large areas of northern Mali by limited access and lack of human and financial resources.

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