the case that highlights the situation for the entire Nionos circle

Incidents and unrest in the Niono circle, in central Mali, are in this area where the village of Farabougou is located, surrounded since the beginning of October by jihadist terrorists. But if this place has become very politicized and published, it is not the only place affected by the violence: the grip of jihadist fighters extends across the circle and has revived tensions between communities.

Farabougou, it is the tree that shows the forest. Recent events so far: villagers prevented from going to their fields in Goma Koura last week, and the blasting of a bridge in N’Debougou, Monday night.

Earlier this month, the municipality’s imam and his deputy were assassinated.

According to several elected officials and residents of the area, N’Debougou and the nearby towns of Yere Don Saniona and Toridagakov are constantly threatened by jihadist fighters. “It is not a blockade like in Farabougou,” an elected official explains, but residents’ isolation is strengthened. ” Another abounds: “They blew up this bridge to isolate Dozo hunting camps, we must expect a new attack.”

The army does not comment

For almost two months, the area has lived in step with the violence that responds to each other. On the one hand, traditional hunters accused of abusing Fulani: looted vehicles, breeders prevented from going to fairs. Allegations of murders and kidnappings, difficult to verify, are circulating in numbers.

On the other hand, jihadist terrorists who want to impose their extreme vision on sharia law (women completely covered, fee on zakat, ban on street parties for children, etc.), as well as Fulani self-defense groups. “There have been de facto alliances against Dozo hunters, as their abuses will go unpunished,” said an elected official.

The army, which has bases in the circle and whose the soldiers entered Farabougou a month ago, is accused of inaction and does not want to make “any comments on the activity in question”.

Earlier this month, a government forum was held in Niono, where the state promised to disarm all illegal gun owners. At the same time, the Dozo hunters and the Fulani community had reached an agreement to put an end to their hostilities.

Since then, the situation has continued to deteriorate, despite the commitments made. When asked by RFI, the ministries concerned did not answer.

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