UN 'deeply concerned' as communal violence surges in Mali

2018-07-18 12:02
Members of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (Ismael Diallo,AFP)

Members of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (Ismael Diallo,AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The United Nations on Tuesday said it was "deeply concerned" about a surge in intercommunal violence in central Mali that has killed hundreds of people since the start of the year.

The UN peacekeeping mission in the country MINUSMA says at least 289 civilians have been killed in almost 100 documented incidents, the vast majority - some 77% - in the Mopti region.

The violence highlights the fragile security situation in the West African nation as it prepares to hold presidential elections on July 29.

"In recent weeks, the UN human rights staff in the country have documented an alarming trend of civilians being driven from their homes, either after being directly targeted themselves, because of the community they belong to, or after deadly attacks on members of their community in neighbouring villages," wrote the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in a statement.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER 

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Violence has increased over the past three years in central Mali between nomadic Fulani herders and Bambara and Dogon farmers, sparked by accusations of Fulani grazing cattle on Dogon land and disputes over access to land and water.

MINUSMA said it has recently documented an escalation of attacks allegedly carried out by armed Dozos hunters and militias, who are linked to the Dogon ethnic group, against Fulani herders.

"These attacks are said to be motivated by a desire to root out individuals linked to the violent extremist group... (JNIM)," the OHCHR said, adding: "In reality, they have increasingly been indiscriminately targeting members of the Fulani community".

JNIM, or Jama'a Nusrat ul-Islam wa'al- Muslimin in Arabic, is a fusion of three Malian jihadist groups which were previously linked to Al-Qaeda.

The group, also known as the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), has been behind several high profile attacks against domestic and foreign forces since forming last year.

The Dogon and Bambara communities have also been targeted by JNIM and Fulani militias, said the OHCHR.

It urged the Mali government to take measures to "prevent further grave violations and abuses of human rights in the region, including those committed by government forces".

Read more on:    un  |  mali  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Most Read
News In Your Area
Top Lifestyle
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.