80,000 people flee Mali as clashes continue

March 2nd, 2012 - 8:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Geneva, March 2 (IANS) Some 80,000 people have fled the western African nation of Mali to neighbouring countries due to intense fighting between government troops and rebels, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said Friday.

Countries such as Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger continue to receive large number of refugees, as fighting between Malian Army and rebel Tuaregs, which started in mid-January, saw no sign of easing so far, Xinhua reported.

The Mauritanian government estimated that there have been now over 31,000 Malian refugees on its territory, and that the number is growing by 1,500 each day. In Burkina Faso, where authorities have already registered 18,326 Malian refugees, an average of 500 Malians are crossing the border daily.

Meanwhile, an additional 81,000 Malians are reportedly being internally displaced.

The UN High Commission for Refugees is working with humanitarian partners and governments concerned to bring aid to the region.

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