Local group sources have revealed that traditional hunters killed 32 civilians including children in an isolated village in central Mali.
The hunters, known locally as “Dozo”, surrounded the village in the Mopti region and separated members of the Fula ethnic group from the other villagers before killing them.
There has been increasing violence between Fula, who are traditionally herders, and other ethnic groups. A further 10 people were missing from the village, near the town of Djenné, said Abel Aziz Diallo, president of Tabital Pulaaku, a Fulani association.
“They surrounded the village, separated the Fula people from the others and killed at least 32 civilians in cold blood,” he told AFP news agency.
The Fula complain that they are being regularly targeted by traditional hunters in the name of the fight against jihadists. They accuse the Malian military of supporting such incidents.
The Malian army has also been accused by rights groups of carrying out extrajudicial killings in the central region. The army says these were operations against militants.
On Thursday the US asked Mali to investigate after 25 bodies were found in mass graves in the Mopti region. The Malian government admitted elements of the army were involved.
The Charge‘d Affair of Nigeria in Mali, Yara Abdulsalam, has revealed that Innoson Motors, a Nigerian vehicle-manufacturing company has signed MoU with a Malian firm to export 400 locally made vehicles to Mali.
Abdulsalam, who made the announcement when he led a delegation of businessmen from Mali to visit the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama explained that the positive development was the outcome of a “Made-in-Nigeria products exhibition” held in Bamako in 2016 by Ginco Group, a Nigerian firm based in Mali to show case Nigeria’s potentials.
Abdulsalam said: “from the exhibition, Taxi Plus VIP approached the embassy that they wanted to import vehicles from China but, we told them that we have indigenous company in Nigeria that manufactures vehicles.
“They started talking with Innoson through Nigerian Export Promotion Commission (NEPC) and the deal was later finalised.
“Mali is the centre of Francophone countries and has boundary with eight countries. If the MoU materialises, it will positively affect all other countries and will increase Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria…
“So what you are achieving can be the beginning of revolution in our country; the longest journey has to start from somewhere. What you are doing represents a giant leap for Africa because it involved trading among ourselves.
“What I found so interesting is that we are trading at the highest technology level with the export of automobile, cars and buses to one another. As we are now laying the foundation, the sky is the limit for Africa; it means we have broken that glass ceiling that is holding us down,” he said.
The Foreign Affairs Minister, Onyeama exclaimed that “This is what the ministry wants Nigerian embassies around the world to be doing; to serve as small hub to promote trade relationship.’’
DR Congo and Mali will today lock horns in the final of the 2016 African Nations Championship at the Amahoro Stadium in Kigali, with kick-off at 17h30.
DRC beat Guinea 5-4 on penalties in the previous round to make the final after the game ended 1-1 after 120 minutes, with Jonathan Blongi’s goal for the Leopards cancelled out by Ibrahim Sory Sankhon.
Florent Ibenge’s side are looking to claim their second CHAN title, having won the first edition in Ivory Coast back in 2009.
Mali have however achieved their best performance at a CHAN tournament after surpassing their quarterfinal showing at the previous edition in South Africa.
The Eagles left it late to defeat the Elephants of Ivory Coast on Thursday, with Yves Bissouma scoring the only goal of the game on 88 minutes to see off the challenge of the Elephants.
In team news, DRC will have one key player missing and another doubtful due to injury: defender Padou Bompuga is suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards, while Heritier Luvumbu missed the semi due to injury and his availability remains uncertain.
Mali will face Democratic Republic of Congo in the final of CHAN 2016 after they beat Ivory Coast 1-0 in a thrilling semifinal thanks to Yves Bissouma’s 89th minute goal.
It was an end to end match and both sides had their chances to wrap up the game, but a youthful Mali side prevailed in the end.
Ivory Coast started the brighter of the two sides and in the 7th minute, a ball over the top was chased down by Guiza who almost created a half chance for himself.
A minute later Koffi hit a direct free kick for Ivory Coast, which was on target but Diarra saved comfortably in goal before Essis Aka fired in a quality long range shot, which rebounded off the Mali upright following a good passage of play by Ivory Coast.
In the 19th minute Ivory Coast went close again after Mali fumbled a free kick at the far post and just after the half hour mark Mali won a penalty after a hand ball in the area by Comara. But Coulibaly’s effort was tipped over the bar by the goalkeeper Badra.
Two big chances arrived for Mali in the 55th minute – first Abdoulaye Diarra and then Sissoko – but both saw their long range shots blocked on their way to goal.
Then, in the 58th, a great run by Sekou ended in a cross to Kouame but somehow the substitute missed the target from close range.
But it would be another substitute, Bissouma, who stole the show with an 89th minute goal to seal the deal and put Mali into the final.
His strike from close range showed composure following Sinayoko’s headed pass.