Nearly 100 killed, 19 missing in central Mali village massacre
11 June, 2019, 07:23 | Author: Wade Massey
At least 95 people were killed in central Mali when gunmen stormed a village overnight, carrying out an especially bloody attack in the West African nation, which has been gripped by surging extremist violence and ethnic tensions.
The attack appears to be the latest incident in a cycle of violence in central Mali, an ethnic mosaic.
The attack on the village of Sobanou-Kou started Sunday evening when a group of armed men poured into the village, according to a statement from the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.
Some Peuhl leaders had vowed to carry out reprisal attacks for the March bloodshed that was blamed on the Dogon militia known as Dan Na Ambassagou.
"Right not we have 95 dead civilians", a district official said, "the bodies are burned, we are continuing to look for others".
MINUSMA said last month that since January 2018, it has documented abuses by traditional hunters against the Fulani population that have resulted in 488 deaths in the Mopti and Segou regions.
Fighting has skyrocketed in recent years between the two ethnic groups, who have a long history of disputes.
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Security Council ambassadors met with Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and other government officials on Friday evening to discuss the violence and the slow implementation of a 2015 peace agreement with non-ISIS armed groups.
The violence in central Mali is characterized by killings, disappearances and the burning of villages "on an appalling scale", Amnesty International said Monday.
"The Government of Mali presents its deepest condolences to mourning families and assures all measures will be taken to arrest and punish the authors of this carnage", the communications ministry said in a statement.
It said that clashes between the Dogon and Fulani had been "exacerbated by the presence of extremist groups", and that the central region had recorded the highest number of attacks against civilians.
The Peuhl are accused of working alongside jihadists from the Islamic State of Greater Sahara organization to attack Dogon villages and prevent residents from cultivating their land. The Fulanis claim that Mali's military has armed the hunters to attack them.
"Reinforcements are now deployed in the sector and carrying out a wide-ranging search", it said in a statement.
There are several Islamist groups based in northern Mali.
After the attack, the Dogon Dan Na Ambassagou was banned by Mali's government. "Unless these concerns are immediately addressed, there is a high risk of further escalation of the situation in which atrocity crimes could be committed".
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