Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)4.20 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.4.30 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.4.40 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.3.90 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.4.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
Mali: Violence in Ménaka and Gao regions
CrisisInSight: Global Risk Report
Humanitarian Access Overview
L’accès humanitaire au sahel central: Scénarios
Central Sahel: Humanitarian access and civil-military coordi...
The humanitarian situation in Mali continues to deteriorate as conflict drives displacement and increased humanitarian needs, particularly in the regions bordering Burkina Faso and Niger. Direct confrontations between two rival militant groups, the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara and the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims, have added a new dimension to the complex security situation in the country. Clashes between pastoralist farmers and nomadic herder communities over land and access to water points are common in central and northern regions, and the situation is aggravated by the limited access to resources and the presence of militias and armed groups.?
Insecurity has disrupted economic and trade activities, resulting in unreliable food availability in markets. It has also limited access to farmlands and markets, and disrupted normal pastoralist patterns, affecting livelihoods.?
Men are most affected by violent incidents (81% of which involve men and boys), as they are often targets for extrajudicial or retaliation killings, kidnapping, and forced recruitment. Women make up 52% of people in need in 2021. They are taking on increasing responsibilities within the family unit, often as heads of households, yet compared to men they have limited means or access to means to meet their families’ needs. Incidents that mostly affect women, such as sexual and gender-based violence, are underreported.?
From 1 January to 31 March 2021, 421 human rights violations and abuses, which resulted in the deaths of 106 people, have been documented. The responsible for these abuses include armed groups, militias and community armed groups, and national and international armed forces. ?
The provision of services to the population is also affected by insecurity. 10% of health structures in the country are not operational. Around 2.5 million children in Mali are estimated to be outside of the education system, and around 1,595 schools are closed as a result of insecurity. Seasonal flooding and the occupation of schools by newly displaced people further affect education services. ?
Mali is currently undergoing a political transition period towards an elected government and parliament, following a military coup on 24 May 2021 – the second in nine months. General elections are scheduled for February 2022. ?
No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.
very high constraints
Mali faced Very High humanitarian access constraints in the past six months, scoring 4/5 in ACAPS Humanitarian Access Index. The humanitarian access situation has been improving, with no reports of humanitarians being targeted by armed groups, and access to people in need generally was possible. Temporary suspensions due to armed group activity or military operations do not usually last long; however, armed group activity has been expanding across the country, with various impacts on access.
For more information you can consult our latest Global Humanitarian Access Overview – July 2022.
Total number of conflict-related fatalities per year
Source : ACLED - https://www.acleddata.com/data/
On 9 January 2022, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) applied additional economic sanctions against Mali, including the closure of land and air borders with member countries, the suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS countries and Mali, and a freeze on Malian assets in the Central Banks of ECOWAS.? The sanctions came after Mali’s National Transitional Council presented a transition plan to civilian governance that pushed presidential and parliamentary elections, previously agreed for February 2022, to the end of 2025.?
ECOWAS applied similar sanctions following the August 2020 coup. It lifted these sanctions two months later after the military junta agreed to appoint an interim civilian president and prime minister.? On the other hand, the recent sanctions could last longer as the transition authorities (who have made two coups in nine months) do not seem to accept ECOWAS’ demands of a civilian transition and elections before the five-year period.? They have described demonstrations against the sanctions in several Malian cities as manifested popular support for their presence at the head of the country.?
Mali is landlocked and dependent on neighbouring countries, such as Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire, for most of its trade. Border closures will primarily affect the cotton sector, one of Mali’s main export products.? ECOWAS uses the risk of a lack of cash linked to decreased customs revenue because of the sanctions, coupled with the inability to borrow money from regional financial institutions, as one of the main means to compel Mali’s National Transitional Council to shorten its timeline towards democratic elections.
Prior to the sanctions, the number of people in acute food insecurity to increase from 1.1 million in October–December 2021 to 1.8 million in June–August 2022, mainly because of insecurity and climatic shocks.? Sanctions will decrease food access for IDPs, host communities, people living in areas with armed group activity, and those affected by climate shocks and likely add around 300,0001 people in need of emergency food assistance. Supply chain disruptions in the coming months will also likely worsen the price increase of essential food items (such as oil, rice, sugar, and milk) already reported in June 2021.? There are also speculations about increased sugar prices despite the state capping prices.? The shortage of manufactured goods will likely put people working in the informal economy with unstable incomes (small traders, street vendors, and temporary workers) out of work.? Livelihood loss is also expected in the livestock sector, as most products are sold in the neighbouring countries that have closed their borders. The livestock sector supports around 30% of the population.?
On 17 February, the French president announced the withdrawal from Mali of the Barkhane forces and the European Takuba Task Force. Their full withdrawal is set to happen over the next four to six months.? Following a previous announcement of Barkhane’s downsizing in Mali in June 2021, hostile reactions from the population and transition authorities contributed to questioning the French presence. The five-year transition period proposed by the transition authorities in February and the involvement of the Russian private paramilitary Wagner Group have aggravated tensions between France and Mali. France has gone from a reorganisation of its troops to a total withdrawal from Mali.? The vacuum created by this withdrawal after nine years of presence will likely cause renewed violence and expansion by different armed groups, particularly in the centre of the country. The Malian army, which is undertrained and underequipped, often relied on Barkhane forces to fight armed groups, particularly during airstrikes.? With their withdrawal, the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM) and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), the dominant rival armed groups in the centre of the country, would possibly be tempted to expand their areas of control.
The Malian authorities have opted to reach out to the Wagner Group, which many perceive as the only one able to defeat the armed groups. The change of military partners while the country is under ECOWAS economic sanctions still presages a reduced capacity of the transition authorities to limit the advance of armed groups.? The authorities could favour negotiation with the GSIM, long refused by France, in the coming months, but recent experiences have shown that ceasefire agreements are often broken after a few months.?
The attempts of armed groups to expand their areas of control will likely intensify clashes not only between the GSIM and ISGS but also between the two and the Malian Armed Forces supported by the Wagner Group. The strong presence of armed groups and self-defence militias would increase clashes and affect central regions of the country. The number of displaced people, which is on the rise particularly in Mopti and Ségou regions, could increase.?
Alliances between the Wagner Group and pro-government militias could escalate intercommunal violence if certain communities are targeted for their alleged support of armed groups. The adoption by the Wagner Group of practices similar to those in other African countries will likely increase incidents of looting, extrajudicial executions, and sexual violence. Abuses against civilians by the Wagner Group could deepen resentment on the part of some communities, from which armed groups recruit the most, and increase the popularity of non-state armed groups.? Humanitarian access, which is already limited, could deteriorate further in this context, particularly with greater recourse by armed groups to explosive devices. The use of improvised explosive devices, which has intensified in recent months as part of the strategy of armed groups to reduce the movement of security forces, could increase further if the Malian Armed Forces and Wagner Group were to be more offensive.?
Protection: Protection is a priority for populations affected by insecurity, particularly in the northern and central regions. Protection incidents include attacks on civilians, targeting of civilian infrastructure, SGBV, child exploitation and forced recruitment, and the presence of IEDs.?
Food security: The food security of vulnerable households in central Mali is expected to deteriorate from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels between June–September 2021, because of the pastoral and agricultural lean seasons, insecurity, and the predicted continued effects of COVID-19 restrictions?
WASH: Population movements and armed group activity continue to stress Mali's WASH infrastructure. Newly displaced populations and their host communities often share the same insufficient infrastructures. This leads to increased cases of malnutrition and communicable diseases. Drought and floods increase the need for WASH support.?
Information Gaps and Needs
Limited access to the northern and central regions makes it difficult to assess exact needs.
There is limited or lack of information on access constraints for the population to humanitarian assistance and basic social services.