Dogon villagers are victims of a new massacre in central Mali

At least 40 Malian civilians and soldiers were killed during the attack on the Dogon villages in the center of the country. The attack lasted for several hours and was followed by an ambush against soldiers.

The attack lasted for several hours. Hours during which the deadly rage of armed men left more than forty dead among Malian civilians and soldiers in the dogon byar from the center of the country, Wednesday 1 July and Thursday 2 July.

These events in Mali in the banking sector, near the border with Burkina Faso, once again illustrate the cycle of jihadist and social violence in the Sahel in the country, despite the UN, African and French forces.

Central Mali, and especially this region of Mopti, the big city about 600 kilometers from the capital Bamako, is one of the most important violence centers that started in the north of 2012 and has spread since 2015 south of the country. , but also in neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.

In this region, they are the fact of armed groups, sometimes “self-defense,” and jihadists, who also oppose communities.

It is in the same sector of Bankass that about thirty villagers were killed in February in Ogossagou, where 160 civilians had already been massacred on March 23, 2019 – these were then the Peuls and not the Dogons as this time.

We do not yet know who is behind these new massacres.

“Barbarian” acts

Armed men in combat gear and mounted on pickups attacked four Dogon villages on Wednesday, sowing death from mid-afternoon to early evening, a local official said on Friday. by phone and talk on terms of anonymity for security reasons.

The attack left “at least 30 dead, including women, children, elderly (and) many missing,” he said. A senior government official also spoke on condition of anonymity reported “barbaric” acts.

A Dogon defense organization has accused Peuls, but there is nothing that can independently confirm these allegations.

The various reports return to a well-known spread, with attackers tracing villagers surrendered to their own units, burning cabins and barley and practicing looting.

The first military post is miles away in Sokoura.

“From 15 to 9 and no one saved us. I regret the army’s passivity, which is always late and never confront the bandits, even if we tell them where they live.” , testified to AFP Youssouf Tiessougue, known to Gouari, one of the villages.

Soldiers passed

A farewell went to the site that night and attended the funeral of 31 bodies before leaving, says Army spokesman Colonel Diarran Koné.

The army was sent back to the scene the next day after reports of a new attack, he said. When he arrived “around 8 pm, the village seemed deserted, there were virtually no signs of life”. That’s when the soldiers fell into ambush, he said, taking care not to say who would be the perpetrators. “We regret nine dead and two injured, and we have also registered destroyed equipment.”

Since the armed groups’ conduct in 2015, beginning with the radical Peul imam Amadou Koufa affiliated with Al Qaeda, central Mali has been the scene of all kinds of abuses: attacks on the small remains of the state, massacres, reprisals and rogue acts .

The violence has taken on an increased community character, especially between Dogon and Fulani, often assimilated to jihadists, Amadou Kofa’s group, which recruits mainly from this community.

Add to this violence the security forces’ security against civilians, especially Fulani, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). In total, 580 people were killed in the center during the first half of the year, according to OHCHR.

The violence in Mali has left thousands of people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced since 2012.

With AFP