Refugees in the Mberra camp in Mauritania.
Doha: Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow has gained exclusive access to the Mberra refugee camp, the largest camp in Mauritania, which has become a home to 55,000 refugees from Mali.
As French led troops continue to make gains in Mali, tens of thousands of people have fled the country’s north where the fighting is concentrated, with a large number bound for refugee camps in neighbouring Mauritania.
Northern Malian Tuaregs and Arabs are escaping the Mali crisis erupted in the chaotic aftermath of a military coup, the numbers are increasing as according to the UN Refugees Agency, an average of 800 people are arriving on a daily basis.
Adow who reported from the Mberra camp highlighted the possible humanitarian disaster that could unfold: “The rapidly increasing number of refugees is a challenge for the few aid agencies here. They say they urgently need help to provide accommodation and food for all the refugees”, the channel said in a statement quoting him yesterday.
Malian refugees told Al Jazeera that they fear they were targeted by Malian forces because of their race and ethnicity. Sidi Ahmed Ag: “We know the Malian Army, we have a lot of experience with them from previous years, we know the Malian Army doesn’t do anything but kill unarmed people and they target people based on their skin colour and ethnic group- they don’t target them based on whether or not they’re carrying a weapon, or because they’re in any armed group.”