2013-02-07 Vatican Radio(Vatican Radio) Hundreds of thousands of Malians have fled to neighboring countries over the past year to escape the rebel violence in the north of the country. The fighting escalated in January of this year with the arrival of French troops to the region.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is one of the relief agencies working with displaced persons fleeing the crisis. Ann Schneible spoke to Helen Blakesly, CRS’s Regional Information Officer for West and Central Africa, about the situation on the ground.
“Many tens of thousands of people have left their homes in the north, They left everything behind them, so what they have is very little. They’ve often made long journeys, arduous journeys. And this has been happening since the beginning of the crisis.”
There is still a certain amount of uncertainty for the refugees, Blakesly explained. “They don’t know when they will be going home. The military situation in the north is still ongoing. The displaced families that I’ve spoken to have basically said that they’re too scared to go home just yet. They want to be really sure that it’s safe up there, because what they saw, what they experienced was very traumatizing.”
Listen to Ann Schneible’s full interview with CRS’s Helen Blakesly: