The situation in the north worsened Friday when MNLA rebels in Meneka made threats to retake Gao and Ansango. MUJAO rebels from Gao then went to Meneka and started an armed conflict that continued into Saturday, and has resulted in many dead and wounded. Gao citizens could hear firing into the night and have remained inside, avoiding the enraged rebels. This fighting heightens the tensions in the north, as before MUJAO in Gao and the MNLA in Meneka were keeping to their respective spheres.
Over the past couple weeks travel and food arrival has become more difficult as the border in Algeria has been tightened. Also, Northern citizens are more weary of traveling to the south as the Malian military has been rumored to detain anyone they feel is in compliance with the rebels (which could be profiled as basically any Northerner). And furthermore, this new fighting in Meneka makes the route to Niamey unsafe. Thus, the Northern populations are effectively in a house arrest on short supply.