An ethnic attack in a Dogon village has in Sobame Da, near Sanga town in the Mopti region of Mali resulted in the deaths of close to 100 people, about a third of Sobame Da’s population. Another in an ever-lengthening line of ethnic centered violence in West African Country.
While the search for bodies is still underway about 95 bodies have been found, many burned. Government officials say that at least 19 people are still missing and have the perpetrators as suspected terrorists.
Mali was seen growing insecurity and ethnic-based attacks in some parts of the country despite there being a large United Nations peacekeeping mission with French forces presence since 2013. The International Crisis Group has estimated that there are four times more attacks in May 2019 compared to May 2016.
Earlier this year an attack carried out against Fulani herders took place. Called the Ogossagou massacre, after the village in Mali, gunmen launched several attacks in March killing between a reported 130-160 Fulani members. The massacre caused the resignation of then Prime minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga as well as his council following wide protests the perceived inaction by the government.
The attack may be linked to the long-standing Dogon-Fulani conflict. This conflict is between the Dogon people, who have lived in Mali for centuries and are traditionally settled farmers and the Fulani people, who are largely semi-nomadic herders who move across large distances in West Africa.
Disputes over resources between the two groups are not new however violent clashes have increased after northern Mali experienced an Islamist militant uprising in 2012 which has exacerbated the violence with both sides accusing the other of carrying out attacks.
Both tribes have ties to armed groups with the Fulani being accused of having links to militant Islamist groups while the Dogan has a self-defense association, Dan Na Ambassagou, which the Fulani have accused of launching attacks on them.