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Climate change, food shortage, conflict in Mali

By Editorial board
28 April 2015   |   10:14 am
LIFE has never been easy in Moussa Majga’s corner of northern Mali, a desert region of leafless trees, mud huts, and roaming gunmen.
Sahel forest near Kayes Mali- image source globalvoicesonline

Sahel forest near Kayes Mali- image source globalvoicesonline

LIFE has never been easy in Moussa Majga’s corner of northern Mali, a desert region of leafless trees, mud huts, and roaming gunmen.

For years, violence has plagued Majga’s dusty town, the scene of clashes between government forces and Tuareg-led separatists who took advantage of a 2012 coup in Mali’s capital Bamako to escalate their uprising.

But today, the biggest security concern for the ageing chieftain is a new cycle of ferocious drought he blames on climate change that is ravaging his people.

“There is a crisis due to the lack of rain,” said Majga, sporting a white robe and thick, knock-off designer watch, during a community meeting in the town now controlled by the rebel Movement for the National Liberation of Azawad (MNLA).

A dozen local residents nodded in agreement.

Mali’s average rainfall has dropped by 30 percent since 1998 with droughts becoming longer and more frequent, according to a 2013 study by the U.S. army’s Strategic Studies Institute.