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Country analysis

Mali


The humanitarian situation in Mali continues to deteriorate as conflict drives displacement and increases 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.

In 2022, an intensification of attacks by non-state armed groups and clashes between armed groups, particularly in Ménaka and Gao regions, killed hundreds of people.

Insecurity has disrupted economic and trade activities, resulting in unreliable food availability in markets. The encirclement of certain villages by armed groups and the presence of explosive remnants of war, improvised explosive devices, and mines continue to reduce the movement of people. These constraints also limit people’s access to farmlands and markets and disrupt normal pastoralist patterns, affecting livelihoods.

As at November 2022, there were more than 440,000 IDPs in Mali, while more than 197,000 had found refuge in neighbouring countries.

From 2020–2021, two military coups took place in the country, heightening political instability.

(The Africa Report 04/06/2020, France 24 20/06/2022, OCHA 01/02/2023, AA 12/01/2022)

The humanitarian situation in Mali continues to deteriorate as conflict drives displacement and increases 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.

In 2022, an intensification of attacks by non-state armed groups and clashes between armed groups, particularly in Ménaka and Gao regions, killed hundreds of people.

Insecurity has disrupted economic and trade activities, resulting in unreliable food availability in markets. The encirclement of certain villages by armed groups and the presence of explosive remnants of war, improvised explosive devices, and mines continue to reduce the movement of people. These constraints also limit people’s access to farmlands and markets and disrupt normal pastoralist patterns, affecting livelihoods.

As at November 2022, there were more than 440,000 IDPs in Mali, while more than 197,000 had found refuge in neighbouring countries.

From 2020–2021, two military coups took place in the country, heightening political instability.

(The Africa Report 04/06/2020, France 24 20/06/2022, OCHA 01/02/2023, AA 12/01/2022)

Latest updates on country situation

06 February 2024

In Ménaka region, humanitarian conditions for the 45,000 IDPs registered as at 30 September 2023 are worsening as 4,690 new IDPs arrived in the last week of January. The town has been under blockade by the Cadre Stratégique Permanent since December 2023, experiencing access problems, food price increases, and a lack of supplies in the markets. The scarcity of flights providing food and medicine is aggravating the situation, and the influx of displaced people is adding pressure on available resources.
(IRC 02/02/2024, Fatshimetrie 05/02/2024)

11 January 2024

In 2024, about 2,500 displaced people are living in difficult conditions and require humanitarian assistance in Menaka region after fleeing clashes between armed groups and the national army in Andéramboukane. The IDPs need shelter, food, and medical services, especially given low temperatures and a high percentage of children with acute malnutrition. (RFI 05/01/2024, Studio Tamani 09/01/2024)

17 October 2023

In northern Mali, since August 2023, nearly 200 civilians have died in clashes between the Malian army, with support from the Wagner paramilitary group, and the Cadre Stratégique Permanent (CSP), a coalition of signatory armed groups to the peace agreement in 2015. In Kidal region, at least 5,400 people have fled to other localities in the region or found refuge across the Algerian border in recent weeks. People continue to preventively flee further north from Kidal in fear of air strikes by the Malian army. The most urgent needs for the newly displaced include shelter, food and NFIs, WASH services, healthcare, and psychosocial support. With the MINUSMA withdrawal, tensions over the control of the bases left by the UN mission will likely spark more clashes between the Malian army and the CSP, heightening protection needs for civilians. (ECHO accessed 17/10/2023, RFI 12/10/2023, ICG 13/10/2023)

26 September 2023

On 8 August 2023, the Jama'a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin has imposed a blockade on the Timbuktu region, restricting commercial transport on the main roads and waterways. Attacks on commercial convoys have included shelling at Timbuktu airport, leading to the suspension of humanitarian air travel in early September. Over 33,100 people have fled to other localities and neighbouring countries since the start of the blockade. In the Timbuktu region, many goods are imported from Algeria and Mauritania, and the prices of food products have increased considerably. This raises fears of worsening food insecurity in an area where more than 92,000 people were already facing acute food insecurity (CH Phase 3). The blockade has forced humanitarian organisations to limit or suspend their movements outside the city. Certain social services, including healthcare and access to medicine, are also limited. The most urgent needs include food assistance and psychosocial support.
(OCHA 30/08/2023, Protection Cluster 12/09/2023, ACLED 21/09/2023)

16 April 2023

The security situation continues to deteriorate in Menaka region as a result of clashes between non-state armed groups and attacks against civilians. Non-state armed groups attacking neighbouring communes have led to more than 30,000 people fleeing to Menaka town.


These displaced people are in overcrowded houses or makeshift camps set up on roadsides or outside the town, with an urgent need for drinking water, food, medicine, and shelter assistance.


Since 10 April 2023, the Sahelian branch of the Islamic State has taken control of the locality of Tidermene, one of the main supply routes for Menaka town. This means that humanitarian access to Menaka town is likely to deteriorate.


The extension of the influence area of armed groups in northeastern Mali raises fears of an increase in protection incidents and targeted attacks against certain communities perceived as supporting either the Malian army or other armed groups. (RFI 11/04/2023, RFI 16/04/2023, RFI 13/04/2023, MINUSMA 17/04/2023, TV5 Monde 13/04/2023)

current crises
in Mali


These crises have been identified through the INFORM Severity Index, a tool for measuring and comparing the severity of humanitarian crises globally.

Read more about the Index

MLI001 - Complex crisis

Last updated 31/01/2024


Drivers

Conflict

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

4.3 Very High

Access constraints

4.0

Analysis products
on Mali

Mali: Violence in Ménaka and Gao regions

16 June 2022

Mali: Violence in Ménaka and Gao regions

DOCUMENT / PDF / 350 KB

Non-state armed groups have launched an offensive in the north of the country to take advantage of the current context of political instability, the withdrawal of military troops from conflict zones, and the weakness of the UN stabilisation mission in Mali. Their goal is to expand their territorial control on the border between Mali and Niger. 

Conflict and violence
Scenarios: Humanitarian access in Central Sahel

31 March 2021

Scenarios: Humanitarian access in Central Sahel

DOCUMENT / PDF / 1 MB

Possible developments in humanitarian access in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger during 2021.

Humanitarian access
Central Sahel: Humanitarian access and civil-military coordination

28 January 2021

Central Sahel: Humanitarian access and civil-military coordination

DOCUMENT / PDF / 924 KB

Irregular and intercommunal conflict and sudden-onset disasters have increased humanitarian needs across the triborder region between Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso. Humanitarian operating spaces have also been restricted.

Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger: Vulnerability to COVID-19 containment measures

29 April 2020

Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger: Vulnerability to COVID-19 containment measures

DOCUMENT / PDF / 1 MB

This report highlights the potential impact of COVID-19 containment measures in three countries in the Sahel region: Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. The premise of this regional analysis is that, given these key factors, the three countries are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 containment measures.

COVID-19
Mali: Bamako floods

23 May 2019

Mali: Bamako floods

DOCUMENT / PDF / 499 KB

Heavy rainfall in Bamako on 16 May caused flash floods in all six communes of the city, flooding streets, damaging houses and washing away property. At least 16 people have been killed and several others injured. 10 people are known to have died in Niamakoro district, one of the worst affected areas. 

Natural hazards
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