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Mali refugees say it's too early to return home

Friday, February 01, 2013 - 01:11

Feb. 1 - Malians struggle with life in a dusty refugee camp in Niger but say it's still too early to return home. Lily Grimes reports.

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Malians fleeing the conflict at home have been arriving at this United Nations refugee camp across the border in Niger since May last year. Hundreds of thousands have fled their homes, this camp looks after some 7,000. Life here is not easy and it certainly isn't comfortable, but it is safe. The French-backed Malian army has now recaptured the main cities occupied by Islamist rebels, and the UN says it is getting ready to help the refugees return home. But for some it's too soon and they can't be certain the Islamists have gone. (SOUNDBITE) (Djerma) REFUGEE FROM MALI, ADAMA HADA, SAYING: "We are not ready to go back now even if the war is over. There are still so many problems, we don't know what will happen. We are being told that they fled, but how can we be sure they aren't preparing to come back?" France's three-week ground and air campaign has dislodged the al Qaeda-linked fighters, but military analysts suggest a prolonged, low-level conflict may follow.

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Mali refugees say it's too early to return home

Friday, February 01, 2013 - 01:11