April 14, 2013

Tuareg Refugees Speak Out

Thousands of Tuareg people have been demonstrating at the Mbera refugee camp in Mauretania, where they fled from the armed conflict in Mali, the racialized hatred, and the atrocities of the Malian army.  It has been really hard for them to survive in the Mbera refugee camp, because there is not enough shelter and food for everyone, and the children cannot go to school. 

Bamako recently sent representatives to tell the refugees to go back to Mali so they can vote.  But the refugees have refused for two reasons:  (1)  there have been ongoing arrests, torture, and killings by the Malian army of innocent Tuareg civilians, and (2)  the elections are not fair - for years, now they have been hijacked by government officials who are in cahoots with the narco-traffickers and jihadists.  They also pay people to vote for their candidates.  The Tuaregs want democracy and fairness.

The refugees are speaking out about the injustices going back fifty years, and the crimes of the Malian government and army against their relatives and ancestors. 

The two boys in the video are asking, "Why is Mali killing our people?" and "Why are Europeans and Arabs and other people free, but not the Tuaregs?  Why are we treated differently?"  They are saying, "The Kel Tamasheq want freedom and dignity!"

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