Mali: more than a hundred civilians were killed during a visit to the security Council on the Sahel

Mali: plus d'une centaine de civils tués pendant une visite du Conseil de sécurité au Sahel

Over a hundred residents of a fulani village in Mali have been killed on Saturday by suspected members of groups of hunters dogon, near the border with Burkina Faso, in full visit of the security Council of the united nations in the Sahel in the grip of the threat jihadist.

Since the appearance four years ago in the center of the Mali group’s jihadi preacher’s Amadou Kufa, recruiting primarily among the Fulani, traditionally herders, the clashes that are multiplying between that community and the ethnic bambara and dogon, practicing mainly agriculture, which have created their own “self-defence groups”.

The violence has claimed the lives of over 500 civilians in 2018, according to the UN.

Saturday at dawn, this is one of those groups of hunters dogon alleged which is at the origin of the carnage to Ogossagou-Fulani, in the area of Bankass near the border with Burkina Faso, killing more than a hundred villagers, according to several sources.

In a press release Saturday evening in New York, the secretary-general of the united nations, Antonio Guterres, spoke of a balance sheet in excess of 130 dead.

“At least 134 civilians, including women and children, were reportedly killed and at least 55 injured” following the attack, he says, in claiming to be “shocked and outraged” by the massacre.

“The secretary-general strongly condemns this heinous act and calls on the malian authorities to promptly investigate this tragedy and bring its perpetrators to justice,” added the press release disseminated by the united nations.

– Attackers “dressed as hunters” –

A mission composed of a detachment of the army and of the local authorities arrived on the scene in the afternoon, according to a security source.

“These are the traditional hunters who are accused by the survivors”, was stressed in the day the prefect of Djenne, Boubacar Kane, speaking for his share of 115 deaths, the elements of which the fulanis DDR stationed in the village of Ogossagou”. It was a reference to the extension in the centre of the country since the beginning of the year the process of “disarmament, demobilization and reintegration” (DDR), established by the peace agreement of 2015 to the fighters of armed groups.

According to the association for the defence of the rights of pastoral populations, Kisal, who had received reports of “abuses perpetrated against the peul community by armed men dressed as hunters in the circle of Bankass,” the people killed include the chief of the village and his family, the marabou Bara Sékou Issa and all his family”.

According to witnesses, the huts of the village were burned to the ground.

The French ambassador to the united Nations, François Delattre, spoke of an “attack terrible” that “we strongly condemn”, at a press conference Saturday in Bamako.

The UN Mission in Mali (Minusma) has “strongly condemned such attacks against civilians”, in a press release issued Saturday. “In support of the malian Government, Minusma has provided air support to prevent any new attack and assisted in the evacuation of the wounded,” said Antonio Guterres in a press release.

The Coordination of movements of Azawad (CMA, ex-rebellion) has “condemned with the last energy this crime imprescriptible” and called “for an immediate cessation of these massacres, which can be likened to a sort of pogrom orchestrated”, in a separate press release.

– “Threat” –

The attack came six days after a bombing jihadist in Dioura, in the same region, but much more in the north, against a camp of the malian army, which has lost 26 men, according to the latest report from military source.

In a statement of claim Friday, the main alliance jihadi in the Sahel linked to Al-Qaeda justified the operation of Dioura by the “heinous crimes committed by the forces of the government of Bamako and the militias that support it against our brethren the fulanis”.

After being received on Friday by president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, the ambassadors of the 15 countries sitting on the security Council met on Saturday, the signatories of the peace agreement in 2015 and then the Prime minister Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga, with whom they discussed the situation in the centre of the country, according to the UN.

In a report published on 5 march, Antonio Guterres said that “the past six months have recorded more advanced than the rest of the period since the signing of the Accord in 2015”, thanks to “international pressure, including the prospect of sanctions”.

But “the threat, which continues to spread from the north to the centre of Mali, diverts attention away from the Agreement and complicates the implementation”, he stressed.

The very heavy toll of the attack of Dioura has provoked the ire of the families of military in mali, although the government has declared a national mourning for three days from Friday, and that president Keïta has warned the leaders of the army that”no negligence would be tolerated”.