In close cooperation with the UN Refugee Agency, Malian authorities have officially delivered birth certificates to 32 Mauritanian refugee children born in Mali in a ceremony in Kayes, in the western part of the country, yesterday (6 March). The ceremony in Kayes marks the official launch of a process that will lead to the issuance of these birth certificates to a total of 7,807 Mauritanian refugees born in Mali. 12,898 Mauritanians are still in exile in Mali today, they are living together with host populations in 51 sites located near Kayes.
The Mauritanian refugees born in Mali are receiving birth certificates for the first time in their lives. Born in exile, their birth had never been registered, even though such documents are essential to establish an individual’s identity and allow one to get a nationality. Their parents found refuge in the country after fleeing the inter-community incidents that occurred in Mauritania in 1989.