You may have missed it but one of Mali’s bloodiest civilian massacres occurred last weekend, the latest in a series of such ugly incidents across the Sahel.
What’s going on in Mali?
According to the authorities, 132 citizens were massacred in Diallassagou and two nearby towns, a few dozen kilometers from Bankassi, by men from the Katiba Macina, a group led by Fulani preacher Amadou Kouffa. Officials said hundreds of jihadists arrived on motorcycles, picked up and massacred men, set fire to shops, ransacked towns, and stole cattle.
Any response from the government?
A rare critical voice, the Cadre d’échange, a group of a dozen parties, demanded that the country’s leader should go to the scene, appealing “to the authorities to take the necessary measures so that such tragedies do not occur again.” Mali’s military leader, Colonel Assimi Goïta, declared three days of mourning, and on Tuesday, dispatched a delegation to the scene, 500 kilometers northeast of Bamako.
The carnage was said to have ended on Saturday night, but searches are still ongoing to determine whether the number of casualties is not higher than earlier reported.