Friday, February 24, 2012

Living Like a Refugee

Things remain quiet here in Bamako, however the situation in the north of Mali continues to deteriorate.  It is estimated that 120,000 people have fled their homes and are now living as refugees in neighboring countries or other parts of Mali.  The Malian military is now responding with a lot of force…sometimes too much force.  Yesterday, a Malian helicopter gunship mistakenly fired on a refugee camp killing a little girl and injuring ten others.

The latest UN map shows a dire situation in the north.  Mali is in desperate need of peace.  Please join us in praying for our country.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The situation here in Bamako, the capital of Mali, has been pretty quiet the past couple of weeks.  People have a lot of grievances with the way the President of Mali is handling the rebellion and questioning his loyalties.  He met in a televised town hall meeting with the wives of several soldiers to address their concerns.  The meeting has appeased many of the problems for the time being, but there’s still a lot bubbling under the surface.

In the meantime, the rebellion is continuing in the north.  The battle has really heated up the past week as the military has been aggressively advancing against the rebels.  The rebels are armed with shoulder fired missiles and heavy artillery they obtained in the war in Libya.  Hundreds of people have died and thousands have fled to neighboring countries including Algeria, Niger, and Mauritania.  It has created a huge humanitarian and refugee crisis.  Please join us in praying for peace and an end to the rebellion.  We are currently safe, but our country is on the brink of chaos.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Same Song Second Verse

The security situation in Mali has deteriorated the past few weeks.  The focus has shifted from Al-Qaeda kidnappings to a rebellion and civil unrest.  A rebel faction is fighting for independence in northern Mali.  Over the past couple of weeks, they have attacked and taken over 6 towns.  To add insult to injury, many Malians are angry at the government’s response to the attacks and have been protesting in several parts of Mali including Bamako, the capital city where we live.  This week, roads have been blocked, tires set on fire, and police have used tear gas to break up some of the protests.  Because the rebel group are Tuaregs, who originate from North Africa, many people of North African descent are being attacked and their houses and businesses vandalized.  Westerners are not being targeted, however we have been advised to keep a low profile and avoid leaving the house whenever possible.

Malians are not happy with the government or the president.  Although elections are only 2 months away, people are calling for immediate change.  When turmoil erupts in Africa, it is not easily calmed and many times leads to civil war.  Please be praying for the situation in Mali.  We are begging for peace.