Monday, April 01, 2013

Attack on Mourha

 Yesterday was a busy market day in the Fulani village of Mourha in the commune of Djenne, when the village was attacked by two armed men. The attackers struck the livestock area of the market, where comparatively large sums of money change hand: a head of cattle can sell for  3-400 000 FCFA (around 600E). The men, one an ethnic Fulani, one a Bella, traditionally the ‘slave tribe’ of the Touaregs, were heavily outnumbered,  disarmed and killed  by the crowd but not before they had managed to fire a round which caused non fatal leg wounds in two of the traders.  The bodies were brought to the Mairie of Mourha, where the Gendarmes of Djenne found them when they arrived, having been called to the scene as the nearest available authorities.

The liberation of the northern cities of Gao and Timbuktu  and the heavy presence of Malian and allied soldiers in the north has caused a large number of displaced elements  who are now roaming around the vast Malian country side, still in possession of their arms. These men may have been MUJAO, MNLA or formed part of any of the of the various rebel movements which held the North for nearly a year. If they now attack villages it can be viewed as simple banditism, but in certain cases, such as the village of Bougoumi ( see below), the civilian death toll of 20 seems too high to be explained simply by a raid for the purpose of stealing  the wherewithal for survival.
With regards to the events in Bougoumi, the ORTM published another communiqué relating to the massacre last night :

The Malian Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs, General Yamoussa Camara, informs national and international opinion that "one of the authors of the massacre, the former corporal in the National Guard Ag Ambi Hawa, a deserter from the ‘méhariste’  Unit of  Lere, has been arrested by the security services of Mauritania. "
This was a Touareg deserter from the Malian Army who had indeed joined the MNLA. Therefore the claim that the attack on Bogoumi was perpetrated by elements from the MNLA was not wholly erroneous.

This story is still totally ignored by the international press, who are now busy reporting the heavy fighting in Timbuktu during Easter Day, which has caused 7 casualties.


Blogger Susan Scheid said...

Terrible. May you and yours stay safe.

12:55 AM  
Blogger David said...

Sorry for the troubles too - and my persistent batting back earlier - but this is incidentally to say what another atmospheric photo that is, such light and dust in it.

11:19 AM  
Blogger toubab said...

I will tell you a secret- it is not Mourha- a place I have never been to- but it is the sheep and goats market in Djenne on a Monday..
love to you both and thanks to you for being such faithful readers and commenters on this blogXXxS

1:43 PM  

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