MALI  

Malian returnees face economic hardship

BAMAKO, 28 March 2014 (IRIN) - Displaced Malians who have recently returned to their homes in the north of the country say they are facing economic difficulty as their businesses, livestock and other forms of livelihood have been wiped out, while those still displaced also say financial assistance is their main need. full report

Scant progress on Senegal’s talibé problem

DAKAR, 21 March 2014 (IRIN) - Despite pledges by the Senegalese government to end child begging and to crack down on the Koranic schools that exploit the tens of thousands of boys, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released on 19 March that very little has been done. full report

Trading away West Africa’s hunger

DAKAR, 20 March 2014 (IRIN) - Severe food shortages in the Sahel and West Africa are often the result of droughts and poor harvests. But inefficient intra-regional trade also places significant strain on food availability, exacerbating hunger. full report

A tale of two soldiers - Mali’s past leaders called to account

BAMAKO, 18 March 2014 (IRIN) - As Mali embarks on a difficult period of national reconciliation and the rebuilding of a fractured state, two key figures from the recent past - former president Amadou Toumani Toure and General Amadou Haya Sanogo, who staged a coup in 2012 - are being asked to account for their actions. full report

Emerging from crisis, Mali braces for hunger

BAMAKO, 3 March 2014 (IRIN) - As Mali slowly emerges from its 2012 political crisis and the Islamist insurgency in the north, the new government and its partners are focusing on long-term development. But aid groups warn that there are humanitarian needs that must be addressed immediately, particularly ensuring more food aid gets to extremely vulnerable communities in the north. full report

Hopes for reconciliation - the view from Timbuktu

TIMBUKTU, 27 February 2014 (IRIN) - Residents of Timbuktu, Mali’s cultural capital, are hopeful the city can draw on its long history of tolerance to heal social relations frayed by a 10-month Islamist occupation, which Arab and Tuareg communities are still being accused of abetting. full report

Mali's Kidal still waits for resolution

BAMAKO, 17 February 2014 (IRIN) - Despite international efforts to restore peace in Mali, the northern region of Kidal remains an MNLA stronghold. While the rest of Mali slowly recovers from the rebel takeover and Islamist occupation, officials worry the distrust and enmity lingering in Kidal could destabilize the country. full report

Time to rekindle Timbuktu's flame

TIMBUKTU, 12 February 2014 (IRIN) - The ‘Flamme de la Paix’ monument lies on the northwestern outskirts of Timbukutu, Mali. There, on 27 March 1996, hundreds of weapons were symbolically destroyed, and representatives from the Malian government and Tuareg rebel movements promised to promote peace and reconciliation in a region wracked by bitter conflict. full report

Breaking the cycle of youth unemployment, poverty

DAKAR, 10 February 2014 (IRIN) - Youth unemployment and underemployment are among the main barriers to development in West Africa, say experts. Not only does the exclusion of young people from the labour force perpetuate generational cycles of poverty, it also breaks down social cohesion and can be associated with higher levels of crime and violence among idle youth. full report

Helping Africa’s urban poor gain from modernization

NAIROBI, 4 February 2014 (IRIN) - Plans to reshape and modernize African cities, in part driven by investment, architecture and construction companies seeking new markets, could deepen existing social inequalities, according to recent research. But these development plans could also benefit the poor if governments are responsive to the needs of their citizens, argue analysts. full report

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