The democratically elected president of Mali, Amadou Toumani Touré, was overthrown in a military coup on 21 March. Rebels from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) want independence for the Tuareg's northern homeland, which it calls Azawad.
The rebel forces have taken over the cities of Timbuktu, Kidal and Gao in the north and east of Mali at the weekend. Gao is 280km from the SOS Children’s Village in Socoura Mopti. As the rebel attacks were fast and their moves are unpredictable, SOS Children evacuated the 140 children and their SOS mothers living here as a precautionary measure. The families are currently staying in the two other SOS Children’s Villages in Mali, in Sanankoraba and Kita, both located further south.
The evacuation took place on 1st April by bus. All of the children are on Easter holidays this week, but they will join schools and nurseries at Kita and Sanankoroba from the following week, to ensure that their education is not disrupted.
SOS Children’s other projects in Socoura Mopti, including our SOS School and nursery, continue to operate as normal for the children of families from the local community. The level of security has been increased and the situation is being closely monitored.
SOS Children in Mali
SOS Children have been working in Mali since 1987. We have three SOS Children's Villages in Mali, one SOS Youth Home, three SOS Schools, three SOS Nurseries, and six SOS Social Centres, which work to keep vulnerable families together. Find out more about our work in Mali.