Mali: 130+ Muslims killed in ethnic attack on Fulani village.

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Pregnant women, children and the elderly are among those massacred by hunters 

More than 130 people have been massacred and more than 50 wounded in an attack on a Fulani village on Saturday in Mali, the UN has reported.

The shocking massacre took place in Ogossagou-Peul, a village in central Mali, and was carried out by a militia belonging to the Dogon people, according to the governor of the Bankass district which includes the Fulani village.

The attack took place on Saturday morning and, according to witnesses, the militia disguised themselves as traditional hunters and herdsmen when they moved into the village and began the mass slaughter. Among the many victims of the massacre were pregnant women, elderly people and children.

“The Secretary-General is shocked and outraged by reports that at least 134 civilians, including women and children, have been killed,” [1] said Farhan Haq, a spokesman for the UN secretary general. Haq also said that the head of the UN had urged Malian authorities “to swiftly investigate it and bring the perpetrators to justice.” [1]

A video shared on the Australian site shows the Fulani village in ruins with many houses on fire and blackened streets with rubbish and debris dispersed everywhere. In another account, bodies were strewn on the ground amidst the burning remains of their homes. [2]

A report published by Human Rights Watch has said that the Dogon militants are responsible for many other similar attacks that have taken place in the past year and that the militants style themselves as ‘self-defence groups’.

“Communal violence has in 2018 killed over 200 civilians, driven thousands from their homes, undermined livelihoods, and led to widespread hunger. The victims are largely ethnic Peuhl targeted by ethnic Dogon and Bambara “self-defense groups” for their alleged support of armed Islamists largely linked to Al-Qaeda,” [3] the report said, tragically highlighting the reach of the tentacles of Islamophobic War-on-Terror logics.

The recent attacks have also been described as a result of climate change. With the increased process of desertification and the scarcity of water, farmers, herdsmen and nomadic tribes have come into conflict over dwindling resources to sustain life.

Commentators are pointing out that the Fulani people, who span across several states in the Sahel region, have historically been discriminated against by the Malian state and have face numerous attacks by other ethnic groups.

The Fulani people are known in the region as more observant Muslims, generally being followers of the Maliki school of thought.  The Dogon ethnic group and others have thus often framed the Fulani-Peul people as supporting “extremist” groups in northern Mali and as such the Malian army has used such accusations as reasons to attack and discriminate against the Muslim farmers and herders.

Saturday’s massacre of Muslim villagers in central Mali, however, is sadly not new as similar attacks have taken place across the region in past years.

Innā lillāhi wa innā ilayhī rāji’ūn



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