TSF supports NGOs and local authorities in Mali


Following the complete reestablishment of the mobile network in Timbuktu, the TSF emergency team left Mali on February 12th. However, the Internet connection was restored much later, that is why TSF has given the town hall staff all the equipment necessary to access the Internet until March 23rd, 2013.

Fighting between rebels and the Malian army in the north of the country has been intensifying day by day, causing many civilian deaths and injuries. Furthermore, in recent weeks, the relative calm in the area of Timbuktu has been disturbed by suicide attacks. In this difficult environment the Malian people are struggling to repair the damage to their country and restore normal life. Coordination and information sharing through the Internet is critical to work of governments, NGOs, and private actors to rebuild Mali – but until recently Timbuktu did not have reliable access to the Internet because of damage to the wireline network during the war.



Telecoms Sans Frontières (TSF) teams have worked in Mali since February 2013, first offering free calls to the population, and later providing satellite connectivity in Timbuktu after the Malian army retook the city.

Responding to the lack of landline Internet access, the TSF team has established an Internet communications center in Timbuktu’s town hall for use by government agencies and local and international NGOs such as Médecins Sans Frontières, Handicap International, IOM, PLAN International, and a variety of medical teams. TSF’s Internet center is the only public interconnection in Timbuktu.

The TSF Internet center provides important support to emergency workers in Timbuktu, facilitating the exchange of information necessary for the management of their complex and dangerous missions. Aid workers and government officials must stay in constant contact with the capital city of Bamako and with their home offices in order to safely and effectively manage this humanitarian crisis.


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In Mali, the 14 satellite lines of Télécoms Sans Frontières allowed to establish 550 connections for the benefit of 4,200 beneficiaries, for whom it was often the first call they made for several months. The mobile network had been restored but functioned only partially.




Thanks to Télécoms Sans Frontières, people can make international calls (United States, Senegal, Ivory Coast, France, Liberia…) to tell their loved ones they are safe and sound. The Mayor of Timbuktu testifies: "The army delivered us, Télécoms Sans Frontières reconnected us! I was able to call Bamako and directly inform the authorities about the situation here in Timbuktu."


The communication is very disturbed in northern Mali, where land lines and mobile network have been cut off in several towns, and the activities of the NGOs in this region are very limited because of the degradation in safety conditions.