Commissioner Georgieva Warns of Humanitarian Disaster in Mali

World | April 11, 2012, Wednesday // 20:50|  views

Thousands of protestors march in Bamako, Mali 10 April 2012. Reports state that the march in the capital Bamako called attention to the worsening humanitarian situation in the north of Mali as a result of rebel groups occupation of the region. EPA/BGNES

Mali is facing a humanitarian catastrophe, warned EU Commissioner on humanitarian aid and crisis Kristalina Georgieva Wednesday.

"If there is no swift progress for the creation of a humanitarian space in the north of Mali in the next few days, a humanitarian disaster will ensue that could have consequences for neighboring countries," said the Bulgarian commissioner in a statement released by the EC.

Georgieva also recalled that even without the armed conflict in Mali, the region of the Sahel had faced a draught that caused a severe food shortage leading to famine.

Wednesday the European Commission also stated it had de-blocked an additional EUR 9 M in aid for the region, but that there are still grave difficulties delivering the aid, given ongoing fights.

Sunday Mali President Amadou Toumani Toure resigned, following a military coup headed by captain Amadou Sanogo and supported by neighboring Burkina Faso, which was motivated by the need to restrain touareg rebels in the north.

Last Friday the rebels had declared the "independence" of Northern Mali, a move that the African Union rejected as illegitimate.

According to the European Commission, the unrest has already led to "thousands of people," already hit by famine, to flee their homes and seek refuge, including in neighboring countries.

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Tags: European Commission, Kristalina Georgieva, aid, EC, Mali, rebels, African Union, famine, flee, unrest


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