At least 95 people were killed in a raid on a Dogon village in central Mali, said local and government officials on Monday. Attackers are believed to belong to the Fulani ethnic group.
Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita condemned the violence and the killings at a meeting with Malinese people living in Switzerland.
“At this moment a thought for those who once more have fallen under murderous bullets, unjust, cowardly, in the Dogon country,” he said.
Violence between the Fulani and Dogon hunters has led to hundreds of deaths since January. In an attack in March, gunmen killed more than 150 Fulani — making one of the bloodiest attacks in Mali’s recent history.
United Nations peacekeepers provided air support to the Malian government so they could prevent further attacks, UN spokeswoman Eri Kaneko told reporters in New York.
The Sunday night raid took place in the Sangha district in eastern Mali where Fulanis from the neighbouring Bankass district attacked a Dogon village at nightfall, Bankass mayor Moulaye Guindo told Reuters.
“Armed men, apparently Fulani, fired at the population and burnt the village,” said Siriam Kanoute, an official for the nearby town of Bandiagara.
Sangha mayor Ali Dolo told Reuters 95 burnt bodies had been found so far, but that the death toll was likely to rise as the village was still ablaze.
A spokesman for the security ministry confirmed the attack but said the attackers had not yet been identified. The government has promised to find those responsible.
“The government of Mali presents its deepest condolences to mourning families and assures all measures will be taken to arrest and punish the authors of this carnage,” the communications ministry said in a statement.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was outraged by the attack and called on all parties in Mali to “show restraint and to refrain from retaliatory acts,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.