20 Killed In Attack On Mali Village

 

Twenty people were killed in an attack overnight on a village in central Mali, local officials said Friday, in an apparent spate of ethnic violence in the deeply troubled region.

The attack occurred in Ogossagou, a village mainly inhabited by Fulani people where around 160 died last March in a massacre blamed on Dogon militiamen.

About 30 gunmen carried out the new attack, village chief Aly Ousmane Barry told AFP.

“I counted the numbers while soldiers and the medical services were there,” he said.

“We have 20 dead. Some of them have been burned.”

A local government official, who requested anonymity, earlier confirmed that the attack took place and gave a toll of 11.

He said that the attackers moved in several hours after government troops had pulled out of the area.

Central Mali has been torn by ethnic violence as a result of a jihadist revolt that broke out in the north of the country in 2012.

The insurgency has claimed thousands of lives and spread to neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.

Tit-for-tat attacks in central Mali flared after Fulani people, also called Peul, became associated with jihadists.

Led by a firebrand Islamic preacher Amadou Koufa, a militia called the Katiba Macina recruited members from among the Fulani and became accused of ethnically-motivated attacks.

Other ethnic groups such as the Bambara or the Dogon began to form self-defence groups that in turn became accused of reprisal massacres.

In addition to the latest attack at Ogossagou, 14 Fulani were killed in central Mali in January.

Around 75 Dogons were killed in the villages of Sobane Da, Gangafani and Yoro in June last year, in an attack blamed on Fulani militants.

‘Epicentre’ of violence 

Human Rights Watch this month pointed to the ethnic patchwork of central Mali as the country’s “epicentre” of violence.

It said over 450 civilians had been killed in the region in 2019, “the deadliest year for civilians” since the jihadist insurgency began.

Reflecting the chronic instability in the centre, Malian soldiers are themselves frequently targeted.

On Friday, one soldier was killed in an attack on a military camp in Mondoro, security officials said.

It had already been hit before — as part of a joint raid by militants that also targeted the military camp of Boulkessy near the border with Burkina Faso, killing at least 25 soldiers.

On January 26, Al-Qaeda-linked militants attacked a military camp in Sokolo, central Mali, killing 20 gendarmes and wounding five more.

The violence in central Mali coincides with renewed hopes that the fragile government can reassert control over the widely lawless north.

Troops returned on Thursday to Kidal, a northern town that had been a bastion of Touareg rebels, after a six-year absence.

Regular forces returned to the town accompanied by former rebels who have been integrated into the army under a regional peace agreement.

The deal, reached in Algiers in 2015, is considered one of the few avenues Mali has for escaping the cycle of violence.

AFP

Gunmen Attack Village In Plateau, Kill 12

 

A group of armed men have killed 12 people during an attack on Kunben village in Kombun District of Mangu Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State.

The Police Public Relations Officer in Plateau, Mathias Tyopev, confirmed the incident in an interview with Channels Television on Thursday.

He explained that the attack which took place on Wednesday night also left some villagers with various degrees of injury but were receiving treatment at the General Hospital in Mangu.

The command’s spokesperson added that the police have deployed security personnel in the area to forestall any breakdown of law and order, while investigation into the attack was ongoing.

In his reaction, the state governor, Simon Lalong, condemned the attack which he said was unacceptable.

The governor cancelled a planned tour of road project sites to visit the village to commiserate with the people, in the company of the deputy governor and security chiefs in the state.

During the visit, he urged the people not to retaliate but leave the security agencies to handle the case.

Governor Lalong also assured the residents of the village that the security agencies were working hard to apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice.

Mangu LGA has been grappling with security challenges since the last quarter of 2019, recording the death of a district head in another community.

 

Stop Further Attacks

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the killings and asked the security agencies to stop further attacks.

According to his media aide, Mr Garba Shehu, the President is in contact with the governor and the security agencies.

The presidential spokesman noted that the President’s action was aimed at finding ways to prevent a reoccurrence of such incident.

He said, “President Muhammadu Buhari strongly condemns the gunmen attack on Mangu Local Government in Plateau State and is in contact with the Governor, Simon Lalong and the military, police and other security agencies in the state to ascertain details of what happened and what can be done to forestall a future occurrence.

“President Buhari said he is shocked and grieved by the incident and has urged security agencies in the state to increase vigilance to stop further attacks on innocent communities.”

115 Killed As Gunmen Attack Village In Mali

 

An attack by traditional Dogon hunters on a Fulani village in central MaliSaturday killed more than 115 people, said local officials, doubling an earlier toll.

“The new toll is 115 dead” in the village of Ogossagou, said Cheick Harouna Sankare, mayor of nearby Ouenkoro. The governor of Bankass district, Boubacar Kane, also said the “provisional toll” was 115.

“They were killed with guns, machetes,” he added.

Cheick Harouna Sankare, mayor of neighbouring Ouenkoro, confirmed the toll. “There are for the moment about fifty dead in the village.

“It is a massacre of Fulani civilians by traditional Dogon hunters”.

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The toll was in danger of rising because they had no news of other civilians and the army was not yet on site to help them, he added.

A Malian military source also reported the attack.

The attack happened at Bankass, near the border with Burkina Faso, where there has been frequent inter-communal violence.

Two witnesses questioned separately by AFP said traditional hunters had burned down nearly all the huts in the village.

A statement by a local community defence association for the Fulani also reported the attack. Neighbouring villages had been attacked too said the statement, from the Kisal association, which did not give a toll.

The conflict was just the latest in a series of clashes between the Dogon and the Fulani — the English term for Peul — communities that have left dozens dead in recent months.

In January, Dogon hungers were blamed for the killing of 37 people in a Fulani village.

The violence is fuelled by accusations of grazing cattle on Dogon land and disputes over access to land and water, but the area is also troubled by jihadist influence.

Some communities have accused the herders of being accomplices of jihadist groups.

AFP

Several People Feared Killed As Gunmen Attack Kaduna Village

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No fewer than 14 people have been reportedly killed with 17 others injured after gunmen attacked Ungwan Paa-Gwandara village in Godogodo Chiefdom of Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Although the police authorities are yet to confirm the incident, the Chairman of the Local Government, Mr Peter Averik told Channels Television that the gunmen invaded the community on Sunday evening and opened fire on residents who were attending a wedding ceremony.

However, the chairman could not ascertain the number of casualties, but eyewitnesses who spoke with our correspondent said women and children were among the 14 people killed in the attack.

The eyewitnesses explained that nine persons died on the spot, while five died today at the Kafanchan General Hospital, where those who sustained injuries are still receiving treatment.

Meanwhile, the council chairman says a combined team of security operatives have been deployed to the affected community and environs to maintain law and order.

Mali: Suspected al Qaeda-Linked Militants Decapitate Tuareg Man

alqaeda terrorist groupSuspected al Qaeda-linked militants in northern Mali have decapitated a Tuareg hostage seized last week for purportedly acting as an informant  for French forces in the region, a Malian security source said on Wednesday.

Residents of the village of Zouera, some 80 km (50 miles) north of Timbuktu, said the man’s head had been found, and four other Tuareg men, taken with him last week, had been released.

The man’s family said they had recovered the rest of his body. They gave no further details.

Witnesses last week said that a group of heavily armed men on pickup trucks had kidnapped the Tuaregs, including an elder of the Kel Ansar tribe.

The security source, who asked not to be named, said the kidnappers were believed to be members of the Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the north African branch of the armed Islamist movement.

He said the kidnapped Tuaregs were suspected of acting as intelligence agents for some 3,000 French forces as they mount a counter-terrorist operation in the Sahel region including Mali and neighboring countries.

France deployed ground and air forces to Mali last year in a five-month offensive to dislodge a coalition of Islamist groups allied to al Qaeda that had seized control of the northern two-thirds of the West African country.