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THE UN has sent human rights experts to central Mali to investigate what it called an “unspeakable attack” last weekend in which 157 Fulani villagers were massacred by armed men from the Dogon community.
This was the latest in months of ongoing violence, rooted in intercommunal tensions and spurred on by rising extremism in the Sahel. Jihadists have recruited heavily among Fulani herders in recent months, fuelling distrust with ethnic groups such as the Dogon, some of whom have organised into militias. Violence has also spilled across the border into Burkina Faso and Niger, where tens of thousands are displaced.
Compared to the same time period last year, ACLED reports that the number of civilians killed in direct attacks in the past five months rose by over 300% in Mali, by 7,028% in Burkina Faso, and by 500% in Niger.
For months, The New Humanitarian has followed the conflict from central Mali and eastern Burkina Faso. In our latest special report, we report from western Niger, which is at the centre of this brewing storm. Read Part 1 here.
-The New Humanitarian