After 17 days of siege, the Malian army breaks the blockade of Farabougou

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Malian armed forces on Thursday, October 22, managed to break the blockade in Farabougou in central Mali after a 17-day siege of jihadist fighters. If the action pleases the villagers, it also compromises the ongoing mediation.

“Of course we are very happy!” The voice of this inhabitant of Farabougou is not the voice of a man who rejoices, but who expresses his relief in his own way. This Thursday morning, a Malian army plane crashed for the third time since the start of the week on food and medicine the besieged village.

According to the Malian army, soldiers were then dropped off in the village by a Mi-24 helicopter. These are the first elements of a special forces battalion, she says. A villager explains that the soldiers settled in part of the village and that they did not have to fire a single shot. . The Army did not say whether these men would soon be with others. No details on the rest of their mission either.

Brokers fear violence

The entry of Malian soldiers into Farabougou was demanded by many Malians, who were worried that the blockade would continue. local brokers, who for ten days has been trying to achieve a peaceful outcome of the situation. A meeting was still scheduled this Thursday morning between the jihadists and representatives of the village accompanied by several facilitators, including an imam and a dozo hunter from surrounding villages. “At the last minute, the jihadists canceled. They were afraid of the Malian army planes “, specifies a mediator who explains that the meeting in question was to register the lifting of the blockade.

A new meeting is scheduled for Friday, “but with the soldiers’ arrival at the village, another mediator specifies, we do not know what will happen.” The brokers now fear that the fighting will replace the dialogue. They especially fear possible abuse or revenge on the local Fulani people. Since the start of this crisis, for fear of amalgamation and violence against them, many Fulani families, according to several local elected officials, have sought refuge in the bush.

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