62,000 Malian refugees who took shelter in neighboring Mauritania after fleeing clashes between the Malian army and Tuareg militants are trying to survive in very difficult conditions.
Anadolu Agency (AA) correspondent entered the Mberra refugee camp, established three months ago, for 62,000 Malian refugees some 1,460 kilometers away from the Mauritanian capital city of Nouakchott.
Living in tents erected in the middle of the desert, the refugees, most of which are women and children, have to live with sand every day.
Water needs of the refugees is met by tankers and, while the summer season just began, temperature at the camp is around 40 degrees Centigrade during day time.
Most of the refugees spend their time by sleeping in their tents, protecting themselves from sand.
Kitchen equipment, medicines and food items are among the most needed items in the camp.
A United Nations (UN) official in the region has told the AA that the number of refugees in the camp may significantly increase in the near future. The official made a call on all international organizations to send assistance to the camp.
Worse conditions following the end of Gadhafi rule
The clashes in Mali erupted following the return of Tuareg militants, who formed late Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi's special forces, back to their own country.
The Tuareg militants began fighting for the independence of the Azavad region with weapons brought from Libya.
The Malian army conducted a coup and took control of the government after believing that the former government of Mali was not effectively dealing with Tuareg militants.
Following the coup in Mali, Tuareg militants were able to gain control of large cities as Timbuktu, Kidal and Gao.
Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced due to clashes between Tuareg militants and the Malian army.
UN sources have told the AA that 56,000 Malians fled to Burkina Faso, 39,000 to Niger and 62,000 to Mauritania.
Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in Western Africa. Mali borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Cote d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 square kilometers with a population of 14.5 million.
AAGüncelleme Tarihi: 07 Mayıs 2012, 16:35