Mali president sacks generals after deadly raids on ethnic villages

Leroy Wright
March 26, 2019

Witnesses told AFP news agency the attackers burned down almost all the huts in the village.

Traditional Dogon hunters killed at least 50 people in an attack on a Peul community village in central Mali on Saturday, military and local officials said.

"Secretary-General [António Guterres] condemns this act and calls on the Malian authorities to swiftly investigate it and bring the perpetrators to justice", according to a statement, which added that the UN chief "expressed his condolences to the families of the victims, the Malian people and its government, and wished a speedy recovery to the injured", a UN spokesperson said, following reports that at least 134 civilians killed in the attack, according to a UN press release.

The attack on Saturday targeted members of the Fulani ethnic community.

It took place as a UN Security Council mission visited Mali to find solutions to the violence.

After the attacks the government announced that the commanders of the Malian military would be changed.

An attack by an ethnic militia on three villages in central Mali claimed 115 lives, the latest clash in an increasingly violent conflict that is fueled by Islamist extremism.

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Survivors accused traditional Donzo hunters of carrying out the deadly raid in Ogossagou, according to Boubacar Kane, the governor of Bankass district which covers the village. A local mayor says pregnant women were cut open with machetes and people were thrown down wells.

But jihadists are also active in central Mali and Fulanis have carried out attacks too. The group said the ethnic Dogon militia known as Dan Na Ambassagou and its leader had been linked to numerous atrocities and called for Malian authorities to prosecute the perpetrators.

The Mopti region of Mali has seen repeated instances of violence in recent months.

Since then, there have been repeated clashes between the Fulani and Dogon and past year the violence claimed some 500 civilian lives, according to United Nations figures. The semi-nomadic Fulani people are dispersed throughout the Sahel region and West Africa.

Despite a 4,500-strong French force in the Sahel region, jihadist attacks have multiplied since they first intervened in 2013 in an effort to push back Islamists and allied Tuareg rebels who had taken over the northern half of the country.

Malian troops stand guard prior to the visit of the French Prime Minister at the Operation Barkane military French base in Gao, Mali, on Feb 24, 2019.

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