The refugee situation gets worse each day. With each passing day, resources get even more scarce. The problem seems to have lost sight with the Malian authorities and the international community. The donated resources cannot meet the growing demand for care.

Yeah went to visit the Malian refugees in Burkina Faso. UNHCR reports 180,060 refugees displaced all over Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger. 65009 refugees are in Burkina Faso as of June 9th 2012. Of these numbers, almost 60% are children. About 38% are aged 18-59 and about 3% are 60 and older. The situation in these camps is getting more and more desperate. The flow of aid is unable to match the need. Hygiene is a big concern. Malians need help and they need it now!

Yaya Samake, journalist for the Malian newspaper L’Independent, accompanied PACP to Burkina.

Camps de réfugiés maliens de Djibo au Burkina Faso : Le PACP au secours de 14 000 Maliens affamés

Written by Yaya Samake

To read this article in French: Camps de réfugiés maliens de Djibo au Burkina Faso : Le PACP au secours de 14 000 Maliens affamés

Yeah Samake speaks with displaced refugees in Djibo, Burkina Faso

Faced with continuing reports of very poor living conditions of our compatriots who have found refuge in Burkina Faso after the attack on our country by armed bandits, the Party for Civic and Patriotic Action decided to send a team to inquire about the reality on the ground. Thus they decided to send a delegation, Tuesday, June 12, 2012, in camps in Djibo Mentao in Soum province, in northern Burkina Faso.

Led by Niankoro Yeah Samake, party chairman and mayor of the rural town of Ouéléssébougou and by the third party’s Vice President, Bourama Traoré, a Malian diaspora installed in the Dominican Republic of the Congo, the mission was a humanitarian mission, as they brought with them more than 700 000 FCFA in donations for the refugees. The delegation, which had left Bamako Sunday, June 10, arrived in Ouagadougou on the same day. They met the day after the Malian authorities in this country and officials of the Malian community living in the Burkinabe capital. These exchanges have led to a brief overview of the situation facing our fellow citizens in refugee camps.

After these meetings, the delegation visited Djibo in Soum province, 250 km from the capital, Ouagadougou. In this province of 382,461 inhabitants, PACP officials shared a discussion with the workers of the service of social action, which play a role in coordinating actions for refugees, and with the head of UNHCR (High Commissioner for Refugees UN), Fata Courouma, before meeting with refugees in the camp on three sites (the site of the South, the site of the Centre and the site of the North).

These camps, it should be stressed, are established based on community ownership of refugees. This distribution follows several clashes between pro and anti-independence camp in Mentao. Thus we find in the south camp Black Tamasheq, and moderate Arabs in the center who are fervent defenders of the unity of the country and northern Tuareg independence. The interviews allowed refugees to explain to their visitors the main concerns which beset them and to give special mention to the Burkina Faso authorities. Among the difficulties, it retains essentially the Mentao camp faces an acute shortage of tents suitable for the rainy season, which has already begun, with a deficit of drinking water, lack of sufficient food and especially in non-education of displaced children.

Meeting with Aid officials overseeing the area

Silence by authorities

In addition to the daily concerns, related to the portion of food offered to them, lack of safe drinking water and the high cost of living in Djibo, another concern for the refugee camp Mentao is the deafening silence of our “Malian” authorities residing in Burkina Faso to face their fate. This situation, which has created enormous frustration, is now seen by some refugees as indifference, or even an abandonment on the part of our leaders.

The government Cheick Modibo Diarra, who has always maintained he would never abandon the people of northern Mali, will he rectify the situation? In all cases, time is short, and the refugee situation is getting worse every day more. So it is urgent for our authorities to act when we know that there are already in camps and other bearded extremists who hold refugee hate speech against Mali and will advocate fundamentalism.

Burkina Faso authorities also mention:

“The Republic of Mali is a brother country.” If Mali has problems, it is as if the Burkina Faso had problems. “We can only give our support to these refugees. These remarks, made to us by the leaders of the social action of Djibo service, have been confirmed on sites on which we went to Mentao. Despite differences in approach and the future of the areas in the North of Mali, refugees have, unanimously, held a vibrant tribute to the Burkina Faso authorities for the welcome reserved for them, before congratulating the President of the PACP for his courage.

With his interlocutors, Yeah Samake reassured our compatriots in these words: “I am not come to you on behalf of the Malian government. I came to see you as a brother wounded at the situation as you live. Your suffering is our suffering. Your expectations are not met, not because the government does not have the will, but because the country is almost stopped. Let us all pray for the speedy return of peace, so you can find your homeland. We will always be by your side, “said Chairman of the PACP, before explaining that he would soon make other gestures to the place of refugees.

They said:

Almahil Ag Almouwak du site du sud
“I prefer the Malian tree to another tree”

We are not for the partition of the country. But we want simply that the army be part of things. That it cease these actions against white people. We want to return to our country, but we are afraid of our army. I prefer the Malian tree to any other tree. Need to inform the authorities: clear skin is not necessarily rebel.   Let us avoid the confusion.

Najim Center site

“Mali is the victim of a conspiracy”

We have not chosen to be there. This is the situation that we needed. The day when there will be peace, we will go home. We will die in the same unified Mali. Mali is the victim of a conspiracy by Europe. Arabs are not for the separation of Mali. We are and will remain in Mali. But we have serious problems with the army. All colored men are not rebels. This is our homeland. We will weather this crisis.

An ambassador of Mali for nothing?

The embassy of Mali, Burkina Faso is it still any good? The question is worth its weight in gold, in terms of how some Malian refugees feel about the consular authorities. These compatriots who fled their homeland to seek refuge in Burkina, are now shared between a sense of abandonment and indifference of our authorities on the spot, first and foremost an accusing finger is pointed at the Ambassador Mali, Seydou Traore. “Since the outbreak of this situation, no Malian authority has visited us” regret some refugees. This observation is particularly true that Ambassador Seydou Traore and his Second Counselor, Modibo Traoré, who we met, do recognize that they have never visited the three camps that lie on the ground in Burkina Faso , those of Mentao, Djibo and Dori.

“We have not gone to see them. But it seems that the situation is difficult. Some are under the sun. In the camps, there were disagreements, according to rumors, “there are some remarks that Ambassador worthy of his rank should never take when addressing the situation of his fellow refugees outside their country. But the ludicrous kills more in Mali.

If the lack of means can justify this, as suggested by His Excellency Seydou Traore, who contends that he received no credit line to deal with the situation, he should remember that as a leading authority in Mali Burkina Faso, it is required, be it moral, to help Malian refugees. To improve the image of our country in these camps, the Malian authorities, starting with the Embassy of Mali in Burkina, must regroup quickly, bringing more presence and assistance to the Malians, obviously forgotten them .

Yaya Samaké

Special Envoy in Burkina Faso