Mali: UN warns of displacement crisis, deepened by al-Qaida and IS-driven insecurity
The United Nations Secretary-General has warned of the worsening security situation in central Mali, deepened by Al-Qaida and Islamic State extremist groups that are driving insecurity.
Both extremist groups continue to clash near populated areas in the northern Gao and Menaka regions, the UN chief Antonio Guterres said in a new report to the UN Security Council that highlights key findings on the Sahelian country that was circulated this week. “The level and frequency of incidents of violence remain exceptionally high,” with attacks by “violent extremist groups” against civilians accounting for the majority of documented human rights abuses, he said. “Going forward, military operations to combat the extremist groups will continue to be a crucial component for the restoration of security,” Guterres added.
The UN secretary-general also stressed in the report that the ultimate success against the extremist groups will hinge on whether the operations are accompanied by efforts “to ensure respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, foster social cohesion, address structural fragility and deliver basic services.”
The landlocked country located in central Africa has struggled to contain an Islamic extremist insurgency since 2012. Extremist rebels were forced from power in Mali’s northern cities with the help of a French-led military operation, but they regrouped in the desert and began launching attacks on the Malian army and its allies. Insecurity has worsened with attacks on civilians and UN peacekeepers.