Thousands of people have fled recent violence in Menaka. The displaced families live in makeshift shelters built of plastic mats, fabrics, straws and pieces of wood. Photo: NRC

Growing insecurity threatens delivery of aid to Menaka

Published 28. Jun 2018
Insecurity is on the rise in Menaka in north-eastern Mali. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) calls for the resumption of security patrols to prevent attacks on civilians and aid workers.

This week, NRC resumed its assistance to displaced people in Menaka, despite a volatile security situation. Last week, NRC along with five other non-governmental organizations temporarily suspended all their assistance because of rising insecurity and several attacks against aid workers.

June 7, the office of an international organisation was attacked in Menaka, its guard was tied up and several assets were stolen. It is the eighth time that aid workers and/or their offices are targeted by criminals in this city this year. Before this, the latest attack against humanitarians was on 29 May when three armed men broke into the home of an aid worker.

Since April, criminality has been on the rise in the city of Menaka. While there were a monthly average of three reported security incidents from January to March, there were six incidents reported for the months of April and May. This increase could be due to the end of security patrols that were in place from December 2017 until April 2018.

"The security situation has not improved but there are thousands of women, men and children who need help. We are only in Mali to serve these people and so NRC decided to resume its operations. However, we urgently need the authorities to take measures to protect aid workers and civilians from violence,” said Hassane Hamadou, Country Director of NRC in Mali. 

In the Menaka region, NRC is providing assistance to displaced people fleeing inter-ethnic violence and military operations. Since November 2017, over 8500 displaced people have received emergency aid including shelter kits, household items and water purifying tablets in Menaka.