A deteriorating political and security situation has engulfed Mali where thousands of people continue to flee their homes.
Reports say the north of the country is becoming dangerous due to the presence and proliferation of armed groups in the region.
UN says Malian refugees have been crossing into Burkina Faso and Mauritania at an average rate of 400 people per day in the past week. The majority of the refugees are Tuaregs.
The United States of America today expressed deep concern on the ongoing political crisis in Mali.
US Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland says Mali’s territorial integrity is at stake and its political institutions will be further weakened if Captain Amadou Sanogo and his supporters do not release their illegitimate grip on Mali and its people immediately.
However, the US commends the ongoing leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to restore full civilian and constitutional rule and echo its call on Captain Sanogo and his supporters to return power to a civilian leadership consistent with Mali’s Constitution.
The United States urgently calls on all armed rebels in the north of Mali to cease military operations that compromise the Republic of Mali’s territorial integrity and exhorts all parties in the north to ensure the safety and security of Mali’s northern populations.
“As civilian leadership is restored, we also urge all armed rebels to engage in dialogue with civilian leaders in Bamako to find a non-violent path forward for national elections and a peaceful coexistence.” -Ms. Nuland
Humanitarian crisis worsens in Mali as an estimated 130,000 people have been uprooted within and outside resulting resulting from the renewed fighting between government forces and Tuareg rebels.
The Tuareg, a nomadic tribe, have attacked several towns in northern Mali in mid-january and demanding autonomy.
This January, the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA) – a Tuareg rebel movement, comprised of many warriors who launched a brutal attack against the Malian state military.
According to reports, MLNA has about 1,000 members and also includes Tuareg soldiers who deserted the Malian army.
The Malian government has claimed that MNLA of having links to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Tuareg nomads are present throughout the Sahel region of Africa. Both Mali and Niger have battled Tuareg uprisings in the last decade.