About 260,000 Malians have been made homeless by fighting in the West African nation since late January, according to Medicins Sans Frontieres.
An estimated 1,500 refugees arrive at Mbera refugee camp in neighboring Mauritania every day, MSF spokeswoman Kate Ribet said in an e-mailed statement from Johannesburg today. About 57,000 refugees are currently living in the camp, which has only 100 latrines, she said.
About 132,000 displaced Malians are in camps in the country, while 129,000 have fled to refugee centers in Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso, Ribet said.
The majority of the refugees are ethnic Touareg people from the Timbuktu region in the northwest, where a group of insurgents declared independence for the area they call Azawad on April 6.