110 dead in worst ethnic violence in Mali
In one of the worst attacks in the country which has already been in the grip of violence, more than 100 people have been killed in the Fulani village of Ogossagou-Peul town of Central Mali. Moulaye Guindo, the Mayor of the Bankass town stated that men who were dressed as Donzo hunters had surrounded the whole village at 4 am on Saturday.
Many people had been killed in the attack as the village is completely devastated and the process of discovering the dead-bodies still continues. The men had also attacked a nearby village Welingara which had also resulted in a number of deaths. The President of Tabital Pulaaku, which is an ethnic group representing ethnic Fulani, Abdoul Aziz Diallo has told the media that the total number of dead were 115. The reports of the attacks have been confirmed by the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali but no official figures have been stated.
Donzo hunters are part of the largest ethnic group of Mali, the Bambara. These Fulani people are spread all throughout the Sahel and West Africa. The attack is seen as the latest in a line of clashes between the Fulani and Donzo communities. Fulani are also known as Peul. Dozens have dies in recent months due to the clashes. 37 people were killed by the Donzo in the Fulani village in January this year. The latest round of violence is incited by grazing cattle on the Donzo land other disputes over land and water access. The area has also been troubled by the influence of other armed groups which have links to the Al-Qaeda and ISIL which have also exploited the rivalries between the two communities in Mali, Burkina Faso and also Niger for increasing recruitment to their groups and also rendering large parts in the Sahel region completely ungovernable. These groups have used Central and northern Mali as a pad for increased number of attacks all across the Sahel region despite the presence of UN peacekeeping troops, 4500 French troops and also the creation of a five-nation military force in the region.
The attack on Saturday, came as a UN Security Council mission had visited Mali for seeking a resolution on the violence which has claimed lives of hundreds of civilians. UN ambassadors had also met Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the President of Mali and other government officials for discussing the violence and the slow implementation of peace agreement with some armed groups.