AFRICA/MALI - President and Cardinal Zerbo bring their solidarity to the victims of Sobame Da massacre

Thursday, 13 June 2019 armed groups   solidarity  

Bamako (Agenzia Fides) - Cardinal Jean Zerbo Archbishop of Bamako and President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta are in the village of Sobame Da this morning, in the Mopti region in central Mali, where in the night between 9 and 10 June, an armed group carried out a massacre (see Fides, 11/6/2019), which claimed not 95 victims, but 35, of whom 24 are children.
"The President, together with Cardinal Zerbo, went to the village to express solidarity with the population", say sources of the Archdiocese of Bamako to Agenzia Fides. "In recent days, the funeral of the victims took place in the village church which is essentially composed of Christians", the sources specify.
It is suspected that the massacre was committed by an armed group formed by Peuls who are in conflict with the Bambara and Dogon populations. The inhabitants of Sobame Da belong to this last ethnic group.
The traditional conflict between the Peuls, nomadic breeders, and the Bambara and the Dogon, sedentary farmers or hunters, has changed since the jihadist group led by Amadou Koufa, which mainly recruits among the Peuls, established itself in the region. The Dogon have created a self-defense militia focused on their own association of hunters "Dan Nan Ambassagou", accused of being responsible for the massacre committed on March 24 in the village of Ogossagou, inhabited by Peuls (see Fides, 26/3/2019). Authorities in Mali announced the dissolution of the "Dan Nan Ambassagou", but its members ignored the order of the central government. Indeed, the Dogon hunters association said it considered the Sobame Da massacre, a "declaration of war". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 13/6/2019)