The citizens of Timbuktu, a region in northern Mali, experienced a large number of abuses during the country’s 2012 conflict, including rape and assault. Now victims of human rights abuses are attending psychosocial counseling as they move along the path to recovery.
For decades, elected officials in Mali would finish their terms without accounting for their actions to their constituents. Following the 2012 political crisis in Mali, the citizenry, elected officials and civil society recognized that this had to change.
After losing her husband two years ago, Mohamed Agaïcha, a mother living in rural Timbuktu, lacked an adequate source of income and found herself unable to provide enough food for her five children. Agaïcha’s family is one of the hundreds of thousands of families affected by the ongoing conflict and violence in northern Mali.
During the occupation of northern Mali in 2012, Malian Government representatives were among the first to flee, leaving already weak public services nonexistent. Armed groups took advantage of the security vacuum and the abandoned buildings, using public administration offices as headquarters and barracks. Looters also vandalized and stole from the buildings, further destroying public resources.
As ethnic tensions flare and calls for a return to war are audible on the streets of Bamako, USAID, through its Office of Transition Initiatives, recognizes the need to counteract calls for violence. Through its Mali Transition Initiative (MTI), USAID organized an emergency meeting in May 2014 at the MTI office in Bamako with representatives of youth associations and all agreed: A coherent, consistent message of peace from Malian civil society could deliver messages to advocate for peace and unity.
Last updated: November 23, 2015