Senegal's repatriation of Mauritanian refugees ends
In a statement, the ministry said December 31, 2010 was "the deadline for the voluntary repatriation strategy" which allowed the return of 20,433 refugees to the country, or 4,984 families.
The operation should have ended in late 2008 but was extended several times until 2010, the ministry said.
"The numerous postponements reflected the Mauritanian government's commitment to completing" the return under good conditions.
Between 1989 and 1991, tens of thousands of black Mauritanians fled or were driven from their country following an outburst of ethnic violence under the regime of former president Maaouiya Ould Taya (1984-2005).
They fled to neighbouring Senegal and Mali.
At the end of 2007 Mauritania -- then led by Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi -- signed an agreement with Senegal and the UN refugee agency to repatriate the refugees.
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