16 February 2012
Last updated at 09:53
More than 15,000 Malians have sought refuge in neighbouring Niger after recent attacks by Tuareg rebels from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) which says it is fighting for the independence of northern regions of Mali.
According to the United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha), more than 7,500 Nigeriens who were living in Mali have also crossed the border to escape from the violence.
Sinegodar, a village located around 20km (12 miles) from the Mali border, has seen the biggest influx of refugees - around 9,000. Others places - such as Abala, Banibangou and Mangaize - have also received large numbers of people.
Many of the refugees in Sinegodar come from Menaka, a town in north-eastern Mali which was first attacked by the rebels on 17 January. Menaka, in the region of Gao, is not far from the Niger border. Many travelled on foot or on donkeys and had not eaten for several days.
The mayor of the Malian town of Adramboucar, Aroureiny Ag Amatou [pictured writing], is one of the refugees. He said that initially the rebels faced no resistance [from the security forces] and provoked a lot of panic.
According to another man, "the rebels bombarded the town hall, the military camp and several administrative buildings. Afterwards, they threw chairs, computers and cow dung into wells."
The exodus continues. Aham Issa, a young refugee from Adramboucar who arrived with 12 others, said the rebels were telling people not be afraid and to stay. Niger's government, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other organisations are providing assistance to the refugees. Photos: BBC's Himadou Amadou