-- ZENIT.org News Agency
Although Improving, Crisis in Mali is Far From Over
Secretary of Episcopal Conference Says Much Humanitarian Work Left to Be Done
BAMAKO, February 04, 2013 (Zenit.org) - Fr. Edmond Dembele, Secretary of the Episcopal Conference of Mali stated that while the situation in the country is gradually improving, the crisis is still not over.
Fr. Dembele spoke with Fides news agency on the current situation, which saw the involvement of French forces aiding Malian armed forces against a Muslim extremist terrorist group that has taken over parts of the country. Recently, French President François Hollande visited Timbuktu where he received joyfully by Malian citizens.
"There is in particular an improvement of the security conditions in the big cities of the north which were freed from jihadi groups. As proved by the visit of the French President François Hollande in Timbuktu, which was greeted with joy by the people," Fr. Dembele said.
"[However], the crisis is not over yet. The conflict is not over and there are delicate operations to be carried out so that the whole north is finally liberated."
The Secretary of the Episcopal Conference of Mali said that there is much humanitarian work to be done. Civilians from villages located in the North continue to flee out of fear for their own safety. Malians from the South have also found themselves displaced and are in need of assistance.
Bishop Georges Fonghoro of Mopti launched an appeal through Aid to the Church in Need (ACN): "We must act immediately. The needs of the population are enormous. "ACS donated to the Diocese of Mopti an initial contribution of 40,000 euros to provide food and medicine to 326 families
According to a note sent to Fides Agency, Bishop Fonghoro sent a letter to the papal foundation in which he denounces the terrible conditions of IDPs and in particular children, many of whom are severely malnourished.
"In recent months Malians have suffered a lot, especially in the north of the Country. Now the situation is a bit calmer, but the state of emergency lasted more than three months and many are afraid to return to their villages," Bishop Fonghoro said.
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