Another ethnic massacre in Mali and political tensions
Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Political tensions, ethnic massacres, Islamist terrorism, poverty, and other forces are putting enormous strains on Mali. Thus many people demonstrated in the capital against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
Mali is reeling from ethnic and religious extremism. Hence, like neighboring Burkina Faso, the situation is alarming because many people have been forced to flee. However, with the central state and institutions being weak, it appears that Keita is overwhelmed by the situation.
The latest massacre happened in Binedama when this Fulani village was attacked. It is known that at least 26 people have been killed in this volatile part of Mali. Therefore, the fear is that further inter-communal violence will continue in the Mopti region.
In Northern Nigeria, the Fulani have killed many Christians. Meanwhile, in Mali, this ethnic group is perceived to be close to Sunni Islamist terrorists. Hence, the Dogon and Fulani have both killed each other in a dispute that Islamists seek to exacerbate.
The BBC reported, “While there have been conflicts between the more settled Dogon people and the Fulani herders in central Mali for a long time, they have become increasingly violent since a militant Islamist uprising in the north of the country in 2012.”
Many people in Mali feel at a loss because of the ongoing crisis. This relates to ethnic conflict, lack of opportunities, poverty, internal refugees fleeing violence, and other important factors. Keita, it appears, is unable to contain the ills that beset this nation.
However, given the meddling of regional Islamists, ethnic tensions, and untold weaknesses of the central state, is any politician capable of stemming the crisis?
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