Islamists in Mali Endanger 140,000 People in Menaka (Sahel)

Islamists in Mali Endanger 140,000 People in Menaka (Sahel)

Sawako Utsumi and Noriko Watanabe

Modern Tokyo Times

Islamists loyal to ISIS (Islamic State – IS) continue to lay siege to Menaka and Timbuktu in Mali.

Unlike Timbuktu, where some aid reaches embattled civilians, Menaka is cut off from humanitarian assistance. Accordingly, 140,000 civilians face malnutrition.

This figure includes 80,000 who are children.

Voice of America reports, “According to Cadre Harmonise 2024, a framework used to identify food and nutrition insecurity in the Sahel and West Africa, over 40,000 residents of Menaka already face emergency levels of hunger.”

Wani Ould Hamadi (Deputy Major of Menaka) said, “The humanitarian situation is catastrophic, with displaced people going from house to house asking for food for their families. Children are threatened with starvation.”

Siaka Ouattara (Save the Children – Country Director) said, “Children in Menaka are trapped in a living nightmare. Let us be clear: unless the blockade is lifted, starvation and disease will lead to deaths.”

Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger signed the Alliance of Sahel States last year. This formation developed rapidly after bellicose statements by ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States).

All three nations are intent on strengthening the fight against Islamic terrorist forces, criminality, and forces that are endangering these nations. Accordingly, cementing events from last year, all three nations announced a joint counterterrorism force to counter instability.

Lee Jay Walker (Modern Tokyo Times analyst) says, “Sunni Islamic terrorist groups utilize Libya (North Africa) and Nigeria (West Africa) to spread regional mayhem throughout the Sahel and Lake Chad region. This concerns criminal activity, terrorist networks, weapons, the spreading of Islamist Takfiri ideology, and so on.”

The people of Menaka and Timbuktu need urgent support.

Economic sanctions and military disengagement with Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger will assist Islamic terrorist forces throughout the Sahel region.

Equally important, economic angles will lead to further poverty and mass immigration for people who are desperate for work and a better future. Hence, the international community – regionally and internationally – needs to listen to Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News – Sawako Utsumi’s website and Modern Tokyo Times artist Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News