The Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition (SHCC) identified 46 incidents of violence against or obstruction of health care in Mali in 2022, an increase from 20 in 2021. At least 26 health workers were kidnapped in these incidents, undermining health care providers’ ability to maintain safe staffing levels and effectively meet patient needs. This factsheet is based on the dataset 2022 SHCC Health Care Mali Data, which is available for download on the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX).
Following a military coup in May 2021, instability persisted and violence increased in Mali in 2022. Incidents of political violence increased by over 40% in 2022 compared to the previous year, according to data from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project.
As in 2021, incidents of political violence were primarily concentrated in Mopti and Gao regions and mainly perpetrated by militants of the Jama’ah Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) and Islamic State Sahel Province (ISSP) non-state armed groups, and the Mali Armed Forces (FAMa), which scaled up its operations against Islamist groups. These developments came as Mali’s government shifted its allegiance away from the West. Bases were established in central and northern Mali by mercenaries of the Russian-government-linked Wagner Group. In response, France announced the withdrawal of its 2,400 troops from Mali in February 2022, which was completed by August. In 2022, the presence of private military companies (PMCs) grew in Mali, including the Wagner Group, which has been accused of carrying out attacks on both Islamist militants and civilians in areas where JNIM is active.
VIOLENCE AGAINST OR OBSTRUCTION OF HEALTH CARE IN 2022
Incidents affecting health care more than doubled in 2022 compared to 2021, reflecting the broader increase in armed violence in Mali. Most incidents affected health workers working for the national health structure, while three were reported as directly affecting INGOs, and one each affecting the UN and ICRC.
Incidents were recorded throughout the year, and spread from five regions in 2021 to eight in 2022, with
cases reported in Kayes, Koulikoro, and Ménaka regions. High numbers continue to be reported in Mopti
and Gao regions, both areas of protracted conflict. Cases doubled in Sikasso and Tombouctou compared to
2021, and largely involved the looting of health supplies. Over 75% of health worker kidnappings took place
in Mopti and were perpetrated by JNIM. Ambulance hijackings and the looting of medical supplies were
more dispersed across Gao, Mopti, Sikasso, and Tombouctou.