Country Risk

Malian mass-killing deepens inter-ethnic conflict, raising government instability and military coup risk

25 March 2019

More than 130 Peuls, mostly civilians, were killed by a suspected government-supported militia in the village of Ogossagou, central Mali, on 23 March. The attackers, believed to be members of the Dogon community’s Dan Na Ambassagou militia, armed with automatic rifles and grenades, first attacked a group of cantoned Peul ex-combatants who were undergoing demobilisation, before moving on to the villagers. Peul organisations have warned they will take up arms to defend their community. The attack coincides with a United Nations Security Council visit and follows the killing of 23 Malian soldiers in nearby Dioura last week.

Significance: The attack is almost certainly in retaliation for the Dioura assault, claimed by the jihadist front Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) in defence of “our Peul people”, and indicates the state’s loss of control in central Mali.

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