People from  Mali living in Manitoba say they feel helpless watching the violence unfold in the West African nation.

Several rebel groups have taken control of the northern part of the country and are leading an insurgency against the Malian government.

M'Baye Toure, president of the Association of Malians in Manitoba, said he calls home every day.   

Though his family is originally from a town called Timbuktu, all his friends live in the capital, Bamako.

"Every Malian living in Winnipeg, we have no resources, we cannot influence this conflict," Toure told CBC News. "We cannot influence our leaders to change the conflict, to change the meaning of all of this."

Toure said he checks Facebook and relies on the media for information about what's happening in his country.

"I'm very stressed about this conflict because I can do nothing about it," he said.  "Like every Malian, we just hope and wish, this conflict will end very soon."