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.
Gunmen attacked and briefly seized a Malian army base overnight, killing at least 16 military and destroying five vehicles in central Mopti region, said two local officials in the area where the attack occurred. Army spokesman Colonel Diarran Kone confirmed the attack took place but declined further details.
The base is in the village of Dioura, the mayor of the nearest town Kareri, Youssouf Coulibaly, confirmed, that the Central Mali has in the past few years been overrun by Islamic radicals with links to Al Qaeda.
“I’m currently inside the base and there were many deaths here. We’ve counted 16 so far,” Mr. Coulibaly said. (Below interactive map of fatalities and violent episodes in Mali since August 2014).
From 26 to 28 March, European External Action Service Deputy Secretary General Pedro Serrano and EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove led a high-level visit Mali to enhance cooperation on counter-terrorism issues, says the text of the EEAS statement.
The mission gave the opportunity to evaluate and advance EU counter-terrorism efforts in Mali, by combining work done under the Common Security and Defence Policy, in the area of Justice and Home Affairs and through development cooperation.
They had exchanges with Prime Minister Mobido Keita and ministries in charge of foreign affairs, defence, security, justice and home affairs, economy and religious affairs. They also met with civil society and representatives from partner countries. Deputy Secretary General Serrano held meetings with the EU civilian and military missions, EUCAP Sahel Mali and EUTM Mali, including the Regional Coordination Cell which aims at supporting cross-border cooperation within the Sahel. He also visited the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission (MINUSMA) and Operation Barkhane. A visit to Mopti/Sevare gave the opportunity to assess on the ground the EU’s stabilisation efforts in the region and to share views with the G5 Sahel Joint Force Commander and local authorities.
The European Union remains committed to supporting Mali in its efforts to achieving peace, social cohesion and development for the whole country, to the benefit of the wider Sahel region.