Nine soldiers have been killed in an ambush in the centre of Mali as they advancing on their way to the site of a massacre of villagers, an army official said.
The latest attack took place at the entrance to Gouari, where armed men entered and killed about 30 civilians the day before.
A military unit was immediatley dispatched to the site to help bury the 31 bodies, army spokesman Colonel Diarran Kone told AFP news agency.
On July 2 the army received information about a new attack and sent the unit to Gouari, the offical explained.
“When it arrived at around 8pm, the village seemed deserted, there were practically no signs of life,” he continuedr. “Just at the entrance, the FAMa (Malian Armed Forces) walked into an ambush,” he said, without naming who might be behind the attack.
“We regret that nine died and two were injured, and equipment was also destroyed.”
Mali’s council of ministers has sacked Sidy Alassane Toure. the governor of Mopti region, after armed group killed dozens of people in the latest eruption of ethnic violence, it informed in a statement on Sobane Da village massacre. (Image: illustration Mopti view).
Unindentified attackers believed to belong to the Fulani ethnic group raided a Dogon village near town Bankass, killing 35 people, according to the government, although a local authority maintains the real figure is 95 deaths. Neither has produced evidence for these tolls.
The government also declared three days of national mourning in the official annoucement.
“Drawing lessons from this tragedy, the council of ministers dismissed the Mopti region’s governor,” the council announced via an issued statement. Sidy Alassane Toure was the latest government official to lose his job as a result of authorities’ failure to contain spiraling ethnic violence around Mopti.
Malians have grown increasingly critical of failures of Keita‘s government to protect them from both ethnic violence and armed radical groups affiliated to al-Qaeda and the ISIS terrorists.
“The massacre of more than 130 people, including women and children, and the destruction of the village of Ogossagou this Saturday morning by armed men dressed as traditional hunters raises the greatest indignation of the European Union. Immediate measures to ensure the security and protection of populations in central Mali, and in particular Fulani villages, are needed. This includes the disarmament and dismantling of all militias in the region” says the text of the declaration of the European External Actions Service (EEAS) spokesperson. (Image above: illustration)
“The EU extends its condolences to the families of the victims of this attack and to the people of Mali who deserve to live in peace. It urges the authorities to conduct a full investigation of these abuses and to prosecute the perpetrators, otherwise insecurity will continue, the rule of law will recede and tensions between communities will continue to pose extremely serious risks to the stability of the country. country.”
“The European Union and the international community stand with Mali to support the government’s efforts for security, stability and to ensure the redeployment of the state and basic services to the people in the center of the country.”
More than 40 people from the Tuareg community have been killed in two separate attacks by suspected jihadist offensive in north-eastern Mali, officials say. Majority of the victims were young men.
The attacks happened in the remote Menaka region on Thursday(26/04) and Friday (27/04).
They are believed to have been carried out in an act of revenge after Tuareg attacks on jihadist camps in recent weeks.
Much of north-eastern Mali is turmoil despite a 2015 peace deal between the government and Tuareg rebels and the presence of an international force.
Tuaregs seized parts of the region, including the African World Heritage city of Timbuktu, in 2012, claiming their ‘historic’ rights on the area.
Later the territories were later taken over by Islamist fighters linked to al-Qaeda, until they were repelled in a French-led military operation in 2013.