- The United Nations sent quick response to the village and it also provided air support to prevent further attacks and to evacuate the wounded.
- In a separate incident, eight soldiers died in an ambush while another soldier was killed on Friday in an attack on a military camp on Mondoro.
- Thousands of people have been killed in the violence in Mali which has spread to neighboring Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso.
At least forty people have been killed in separate attacks in Mali. Thirty one were killed when gunmen attacked the village of Ogossagou in central Mali, burning houses, crops and livestock. “There is need to break the spiral of violence in this region,” the head of UN mission in Mali, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, said.
Annadif added that he was shocked and outraged by the attack. The United Nations sent quick response to the village and it also provided air support to prevent further attacks and to evacuate the wounded.
The village chief Aly Ousmane Barry said that about thirty gunmen carried out the attack. “Huts and crops were set alight, livestock was burned or taken away,” he said, vowing that the government would find the perpetrators. The village chief told local media that the gunmen struck several hours after the government troops had withdrawn from the area. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
“They came and shot everything that moved,” Hamadou Dicko from Fulani Tabital Pulaaaku told Reuters. The village of Ogossagou is home to Fulani, a largely Muslim ethnic group. However, other ethnic groups in Mali, including the Dogon community, accuse the Fulani of being linked to jihadists groups operating in the Sahel region. Last March, 160 people were killed in a massive attack in the village and the authorities then blamed it on the Dogon Militia.
In a separate incident, eight soldiers died in an ambush while another soldier was killed on Friday in an attack on a military camp on Mondoro. Located in central Mali, it is regularly targeted by militants. The eight Malian soldiers were killed in an ambush in the village of Benita in the central Gao region, the army said. Four other soldiers were injured during the attack. The Malian security forces said on Twitter that they had sustained “material damage” during the ambush in Benita village.
The camp was hit in October 2019 in a joint raid by fighters that targeted Boulkessy military camp near the border with Burkina Faso, killing at least 25 soldiers. Central Mali has been hit by ethnic violence after an army revolt broke out in the northern part of the country in 2012. Since then, Malian soldiers have managed to regain control of some territories taken by militants with the help from France, which has 4,500 troops deployed in the region. The United Nations has 13,000 peacekeeping troops in Mali.
Thousands of people have been killed in the violence in Mali, which has spread to neighboring Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso. Combating militants in Sahel region is seen as an important step for maintain security in region and even in Europe. Last month, France’s Defense Minister Florence Parly traveled to Washington in a bid to persuade the US to continue its logistical backing which include drones, transport, and intelligence which she said are crucial to the French operation.