WASHINGTON (CN) – President Barack Obama has approved up to $10 million in humanitarian aid to assist refugees fleeing the Islamist takeover of Northern Mali.
Earlier this year, Tuareg nomads, under the banner of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, aligned with Islamist groups declared their independence from the central government in Bamako. This precipitated a military coup in March that over threw the government of President Amadou Toumani Touré.
The allies fell out, however, almost as soon as their offensive against the Malian military was over. The Islamists, called the Ansar Dine, turned on the Tuareg, driving nearly 100,000 of their erstwhile allies to refugee camps in Mauritania.
The money Obama approved is meant to fund international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations and payment of administrative expenses of the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.
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