Ethnic clashes in central Mali killed at least 13, wounded more

Military and civilian officials transport the dead.

BAMAKO––News report from Mali say at least eight people have been killed in clashes between two of the West African country’s ethnic groups in the central region.

Multiple sources on Monday said the recent outbreak of violence in the troubled desert region has put the country on a fast pace to another phase of tribal conflict in addition to war between the Tuareg and the Mali government on one hand and the one between jihadist militancy groups and the multinational force combating terrorism in the region.

Eyewitnesses say clashes between the Fulani and Dogon communities have now claimed at least 25 lives since the beginning of the March 2018.

According to the country’s military, the intercommunal violence around the town of Koro near the border with Burkina Faso resulted in the burning of some villages, including the village of Sabere on Sunday.

“Everything is ruined,” the army said in a statement, adding that soldiers inspecting the damage retrieved the burned body of an elderly man who showed signs of having been beaten and later shot.

“At least eight civilians were confirmed killed,” a local official reported.

Several regional and local officials informed international media groups in the country that the clashes follow “a crisis in trust between members of the Fulani and Dogon communities.”

A spokesman from the office of the country’s Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga said that that the prime minister will be visiting Koro this week “to assure the population and to offer solutions to the conflict.”

One regional analyst with expertise on Mali’s sociology said Nomadic Fulani people and farmers from the Dogon ethnic group have a long-running dispute and frequently engaged in violence.

The latest was sparked by Fulanis grazing their cattle on Dogon land and disputes over access to water and livestock.

Similar clashes broke out last year killing at least 60 people in the vast, landlocked nation.

In Nigeria, similar clashes have been going on between the Fulanis tribe there and other non-Fulanis communities.

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Ben Mabande

Ben Mabande is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.
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