Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

A woman stands outside a house at the site of an attack by gunmen on Fulani herders in Ogossagou, Mali, on March 26, 2019.

HANDOUT/Reuters

The death toll from Saturday’s attack by gunmen on villagers in central Mali has risen to 157, a government spokesman said, confirming it as one of the worst recent atrocities in a country beset by ethnic violence.

The attack, in which women and children were burned in their homes, marked an escalation in violence between Dogon hunters and Fulani herders that killed hundreds of civilians last year and is spreading across Africa’s Sahel, the region between the Sahara to the north and the continent’s savannahs to the south.

“The official death toll is 157,” government spokesman Amadou Kotia said late on Tuesday. Officials on Saturday said that about 134 had been killed, though they expected that number to rise.

Story continues below advertisement

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, said this week that the crimes may fall under the court’s jurisdiction and that a delegation will be sent to Mali. A U.N. Security Council mission was already visiting the former French colony to seek solutions to the violence when the attack took place.

An official from a nearby town said on Saturday that armed men, dressed as traditional Dogon hunters, attacked villages populated by Fulani herders. The Dogon suspect the Fulani of harbouring Islamist extremists, charges the Fulani deny.

The attack came less than a week after an assault by jihadists on an army post killed at least 23 soldiers, also in Mali’s central region. That attack was claimed by an al Qaeda affiliate.

Tacit outsourcing of the fight against jihadists to vigilante groups with scores to settle has unleashed ethnic violence across the Sahel. In neighbouring Burkina Faso at the end of December, an ethnic Mossi militia group killed dozens of Fulani in revenge for the killing of a village chief by jihadists.

Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita responded to the attack by replacing two generals and disbanding an anti-jihadist vigilante group called Dan Na Amassagou, whose Dogon fighters were suspected of being behind the massacre.

The group has denied its members were involved and rejected the government’s dissolution.

“We will continue to exert our activities as per usual, ensuring the protection of populations until the state decides to live up to its security role,” Dan Na Amassagou spokesman Marcelin Guinguere told Reuters.

Story continues below advertisement

He said the attack was carried out by Fulani-led jihadists disguised as Dogon.

Jihadist groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have exploited ethnic rivalries in Mali and its neighbours Burkina Faso and Niger in recent years to boost recruitment.

Some 4,500 French troops are based in the Sahel, most of them in Mali. The United States also has hundreds of troops in the region.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies