Clashes in central Mali leave 12 dead

Alou Diawara

BBC Afrique, Bamako

Malian authorities say they are investigating after at least 12 people were killed by armed men who were dressed as traditional Dozo hunters.

The attackers arrived at the village near Niono, in central Mali, on motorbikes and left before security forces were able to get there.

Maliactu website reports that women and children are among the dead. Residents wounded in the attack were taken to a nearby hospital.

Local sources say this is the first time civilians have been targeted by such an attack in this area, but it follows tensions between ethnic groups in other parts of Mali in recent months.

In March, 160 members of the Fulani community were attacked.

The Malian prime minister and government resigned in April as a result of the violence.

Women at a protest on April 5 gesturing to rally against the government and international forces' failure to tackle rising violence in Mali
Protesters last month demanded that the authorities tackle rising violence
Map of Mali

Concise information about Mali and its people, including figures for area, population, main languages, religions, exports, and more.

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Mali: Prime Minister and entire government resigns

Huge numbers have protested against an upsurge of violence in the country
The entire government of Mali has resigned following a massacre of 160 villagers by a militia in March. Huge protests earlier this month called for the government to do more to stop fighting between rival ethnic groups, which has displaced tens of thousands of people. 

Prime Minister, Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, and his cabinet were facing a potential vote of no confidence over their ability to disarm militias and deal with Islamist militants. 

Professor Susanna Wing - an expert on African politics and democracy in Mali - from Haverford College explains why the government was under so much pressure.

(Photo: Protesters in the capital Bamako. Credit: Reuters)

UN investigates Mali massacre

BBC World Service

Soldier walking in burned compound
Those who died in the attack were from the Fulani community

The UN has sent a team of investigators to central Mali where it says more than 150 people were killed over the weekend.

A UN spokeswoman said the massacre in the village of Ogossagou marked a significant surge in violence across communal lines by so-called self-defence groups.

They have become increasingly aggressive since 2015 when jihadists started carrying out attacks in the area.

The UN says 600 people, including many women and children, have been killed in the Mopti region over the last year.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has called on the military to be constantly mobilised and said Mali was in a state of war.

Mali in 'time of war' after village attack

Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has criticised the speed of the army's response to Saturday's attack on the village of Ogossagou in which more than 130 people died.

Visiting the scene of the massacre he said: "I will not tolerate it taking more that two hours [for the military] to reach the scene. The vehicles of [the Malian army] must be constantly mobilised.

"We are not in peace time, we are in times of war," he added.

The attack on members of the Fulani ethnic group has been blamed on Dogon hunters.

But Dogon community members have denied this.

Mali village attack: Footage shows aftermath

Read more: Behind the Dogon-Fulani violence in Mopti