Mali Facebook page set up to find missing pilgrims

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The group has more than 2,000 members looking for the hundreds of Malians who are still missing
The group has more than 2,000 members looking for the hundreds of Malians who are still missing
The group has more than 2,000 members looking for the hundreds of Malians who are still missing

More than 2000 people have joined a Facebook page set up by a Malian woman, Nabou Traore, to help find some 200 of her compatriots who are still missing after last month’s Hajj pilgrimage crush.

Nabou Traore said that not enough was being done to find the missing Malians in Saudi Arabia.

People have been sharing pictures of relatives on the social media page whom they have not heard from, as well as unidentified people in hospital.

Officials have confirmed that 60 Malian pilgrims died in the stampede.

The Saudi authorities say 769 people died in the crush, although officials from the nations whose citizens died say the true figure is 1,480.

Ms Traore, who is a Malian based in France, decided to set up the page Les Maliens de La Bousculade de Mina (Malians of the Mina crush) after noticing several posts on her own Facebook page about the stampede.

She tried to search online about Malians caught up in the tragedy, but there were no results.

“I thought then there is a need to do something, for if I had a family member missing in that stampede, to find them would have been very complicated,” she said.

“So I gathered all the photos on my Facebook account, and I have asked all my contacts that lost people to centralise photos in the group.

“And I said to the other people do not hesitate to send me pictures of your missing members and I will post the photo.”

The page now has more than 2,800 members.

Some of the pictures are of unidentified unconscious patients; other posts announce the confirmation of a relative’s death.

In the comments under some photos relatives have left their contact details, including one of a young woman found in hospital in Nour, Saudi Arabia.

Ms Traore said that some people who had joined the Facebook page had also set up a small crisis group in Mali’s capital, Bamako, to comfort families looking for their relatives.

The stampede took place during the last major rite of the pilgrimage in Mina – when stones are thrown at pillars called Jamarat, where Satan is believed to have tempted the Prophet Abraham.

It is the deadliest incident to occur during the pilgrimage in 25 years.

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