Rest in Peace Chinua Achebe.
Fears of ethnic reprisals by government troops in Mali have driven thousands of Arabs and Tuaregs in the country’s north to abandon their homes and flee to Mauritania, undermining efforts to reunite their war-torn homeland.
At least 20,000 civilians have trekked westward across the dunes to the crowded Mbera refugee camp since mid-January when government forces reentered northern Mali on the coattails of a French ground and air campaign that swept Islamist rebels from the region.
The refugees joined 54,000 others who already fled to Mauritania when the rebels seized northern Mali in April 2012 and went on to impose a violent form of sharia law involving amputations and public whippings.
In northern Mali – where cholera is endemic – maintaining the drinking-water supply to the cities of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu is a major public-health issue. The lives of 115,000 people are at stake. This is no mean feat in an area that has been gripped by heavy fighting since the beginning of 2012.
IRIN: “Keeping Pastoralist Children in School in Ethiopia.”
RFI (French): “Centrafrique: inquiétude à Bangui à l’approche des rebelles de la Seleka.”
UN News Centre: “Central African Republic: Ban, Security Council Urge Parties to Immediately Halt Fighting.”
VOA: “Will There Be Enough Water for Everyone?”