Mauritanians shocked as EU donates 250 camels to army to fight extremists
Mauritanians have been left in bewilderment after the European Union donated 250 camels to the Sahelian country in a partnership quest to fight against Islamic fundamentalists in the north and parts of West Africa
The BBC reports that the camels were handed over in the eastern town of Achemim.
But this donation has come as a surprise to Mauritanians who cannot but wonder why the EU would give camels to a country that already has a huge camel population.
But Mauritania’s head of the army, Lieutenant General Masgaro Ould Sidi, has parried away the people’s confusion.
Sidi is grateful for the camels and said they will be a welcome boost to the numbers the country already has in guarding its borders.
But this did not stop a lot of comments under a Facebook post by the Al-Akhbar news agency on the EU’s donations.
Some wondered whether the EU had camels or whether the camels were bought from Mauritanians and given to their government.
Reports say the camels are part of a $14.7 million aid with which the EU is looking to support the country. Part of the amount will also go into poverty reduction in one of the world’s poorest countries.
Mauritania, one of Africa’s most unstable countries, has in the last decade seen fighting between national forces and jihadists who have taken advantage of political instability.
The country’s military nomad brigade includes camel-back units deployed for surveillance and intelligence gathering in the arid regions of the country.