At least 26 people were killed on Friday, June 5, when unidentified assailants attacked a Fulani community in the Koro area of Mali's central Mopti region. The attack on the village of Binedama was confirmed by several local officials and Fulani community representatives, but the circumstances behind the incident remain unclear. At least one community leader reportedly suggested that the Malian military had been involved in the incident, accusing men in military uniform of attacking the village and burning a number of homes.
Retaliatory attacks and an increased security forces presence are likely in the area in the near term.
Intercommunal conflict has long been a significant concern in areas of central and northern Mali. Violence targeting the Fulani community has increased markedly in 2013, causing a continuous cycle of revenge and reprisal attacks. Insecurity in the central regions has led to an increase in Fulani members joining insurgent groups, and eventually the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) and Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS). This, in turn, has led to a stigmatization of the community, with other communities, such as the Dogon, launching targeted attacks on Fulani areas.
The security environment in Mali remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
Due to the underlying terrorist and kidnapping threats prevalent in the country, all those present in Mali are advised to remain discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times (especially in local markets, now used by terrorists as recruitment grounds), and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.
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