According to IOM's Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), internally displaced persons (IDPs) uprooted by the 2012 conflict are continuing to return to northern Mali and the IDP numbers in the rest of the country are decreasing.
The number of IDPs nationwide is now 49,883; 19 per cent less than the number reported in November last year (61,920), while the total number of returnees has continued to increase since November 2015 from 439,690 to 453,059.
In the north, the largest number of IDPs is reported in Timbuktu (25,068) followed by Gao (11,731) and Kidal (609). In the south, Bamako continues to host the largest number of IDPs (5,824). After Bamako, the southern region hosting a large number of IDPs is Koulikoro (2,962).
The trend can be attributed to the improvement of the security situation in some of the areas in the northern regions and the signing of the peace agreement in June 2015, which has been the main reason for people to return home.
The first returns started to be observed after the signing of a first peace agreement in Ouagadougou in 2013, which was followed by presidential and legislative elections.
“Assuming that there is no new conflict causing more displacement, we believe it is possible to end internal displacement in Mali in 2016, if support is made available to help people in need of facilitated return and local integration,” said IOM Mali Chief of Mission Bakary Doumbia.
The DTM numbers were released on the eve of the launch of the 2016 Strategic Humanitarian Response Plan Appeal.
IOM, in close collaboration with the government, launched the DTM following the 2012 crisis and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. It was designed to provide up-to-date information on movements of IDPs and returnees, as well as the needs of other people affected by the conflict.
While still providing technical support, IOM handed over the DTM to the government in November 2015, transferring the data collection process and analysis to the National Directorate for Social Development (DNDS). DNDS has supported DTM field operations since the outset and now fully leads the production of DTM reports.
DTM activities are carried in coordination with IOM and with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID/OFDA) and the Government of Japan.