Last month, the Fulani people became victims to the fourth major “ethnic cleansing” attack to occur in Mali this year.
On Saturday, March 23, “In addition to the killings, at least 70 were injured, allegedly by members of the Dogon ethnic group,” according to UN News. Since the beginning of 2019, conflicts between ethnic groups in Mali have become increasingly deadly and larger in scope. “Since January 2019 there had been reports of at least 22 incidents of human rights violations by community-based self-defense groups, which had resulted in the deaths of at least 230 people,” UN News reported.
Each ethnic group in Mali has formed a “self-defense force” since March 2018. At that time, over 600 men, women and children had died, according to Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the UN rights office. “More than a third of those killed had died since the beginning of 2019,” Shamdasani said.
The conflict between the Fulani and the Dogon began when the Fulani, and predominantly Muslim group, received accusations of supporting the violent preacher, Amadou Koufa, who became a prominent figure in Mali four years ago. According to Shamdasani, the Fulani group is the intended targeted in these attacks. Many homes and villages have burned, the ground littered with corpses.
The UN has made various statements on the current state of Mali, and, according to them, they will be taking peace-keeping measures to try and bring stability to the country and protect those who are suffering persecution.
“The UN office on the prevention of genocide said it stands ready to provide support to local reconciliation and inter-communal dialogue processes, with the aim of promoting inclusivity, strengthening resilience and social cohesion,” according to UN News. Franklin Popovich, a freshman political science major, said he has very little faith in the UN’s ability to control the situation with their peace-keeping force. He said it is going to take direct intervention from western powers to make a difference in Mail.
“In this case, I would not necessarily be very supportive of the UN trying to use a peacekeeping force, I would probably suggest one of the western democratic countries step in and try to be a peace-keeping force. Because the UN has been trying use their peace-keeping force, and they are pretty crap at it,” Popovich said.