More than 130 civilians killed after several jihadist attacks in Mali
The consequences of the military junta’s shift from French support, backed by other European countries, to that of Russia, which operates in the country through the quasi-state paramilitary company Wagner, are already beginning to be felt in Mali.
All kinds of guerrillas are spreading in the country, especially those with an Islamist alibi; crime justified for religious purposes is a thriving business all over the world and wherever it can be exploited, jihadist groups will appear to fill all possible gaps.
This weekend at least 132 civilians were killed in attacks perpetrated by suspected jihadists in three locations in central Mali, the Malian transitional government said in a statement today.
The government indicates that “terrorist attacks” occurred on the night of Saturday to Sunday and points to the jihadist group of the Katiba Macina (also known as the Macina Liberation Front) as responsible for the killings, some of whose perpetrators, it says, have already been identified.
In a message broadcast by the public channel ORTM, the President of Mali, Colonel Assimi Goita, also decreed three days of mourning for the dead and promised that their killers “will not go unpunished”.
The community of Bandiagara-Bankass residents and other members of the Dogon ethnic group (predominant in the area) have been pressuring the Malian transitional government for several months to react to the increase in violence, but the military junta ruling the country has not yet made a statement on the terrorist escalation.
In the first three months of this year, at least 543 civilians were killed in violence in different regions of Mali, three times more than in the previous quarter, according to the UN Mission in the African country (MINUSMA).
Most of the violence against civilians took place in the central regions of the country such as Bandiagara, where this latest attack has occurred, as well as Mopti, Ségou and Koro.
The Malian state, which is in a transitional process after two military coups in less than a year, does not control large parts of the country, particularly in the north and center, where the central administration is practically absent while attacks perpetrated by various jihadist groups are on the increase.