…Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from You one who will help.” Qur’an 4: 75
No fewer than 130 people were killed and dozens wounded on Saturday when a Dogon militia rampaged through a predominantly Muslim village in Mali.
Survivors of Saturday’s attack said ethnic Dogon hunters carried out the raid in Ogossagou, a village in central Mali inhabited by the Fulani community. The president of a local group called Tabital Pulaaku said those killed “included pregnant women, young children and the elderly”, according to the BBC. The village chief of Ogossogou and his grandchildren are said to be among those slain.
Secretary-General António Guterres has urged Malian authorities to “redouble their efforts to bring peace and stability to central Mali.”
If the death toll is confirmed, this latest attack will be the worst of recent times.
It took place as a UN Security Council mission visited Mali to find solutions to the violence.
The UN mission confirmed reports of an attack but did not give figures on the number of dead.
Clashes between the Dogon and the Fulani over access to land and water have become more frequent over the last few months.
Dogon hunters are part of the Bambara, which makes up the largest Mandé people ethnic group in Mali.
A group called Dan Na Ambassagou is said to comprise a number of self-defence organisations from Dogon villages and others.
Members of the Dogon grouping have accused Peulhs of supporting jihadists linked to terror groups in the country’s north and beyond.
The destabilisation of the region is damaging tourism.
Mali’s Dogon country, which boasts dramatic cliff landscapes and world-renowned traditional art, once drew tourists from Europe who hiked through the area with local guides.
Last year, hundreds of people died in clashes between Dogon hunters and members of the Fulani ethnic group.
By BRIAN MCGLEENON/express.co.uk