Attacks by armed gunmen on motorcycles left 27 dead in attacks on three villages in central Mali last week. Many of the deceased were shot or burned alive, the New York Times reports.
The attacks took place over a 24-hour period last week as mainly Islamic Fulani herders killed the predominately Christian Dogon farmers In Bamako. In the first village, Tille, they killed seven people. Then they killed the other 20 civilians the next day in the villages of Bankass and Koro.
The attacks continue a pattern of violence and reprisals after jihadists linked with al-Qaeda siezed the northern 2/3 of the nation in 2012. French forces pushed back the Islamic militants in 2013, but they have since regained the territory and pushed their influence into Niger and Burkina Faso.
The Mali army fell under heavy criticism for their inability to protect civilians as instances of violence have been on the rise during the last two years. One group that keeps statistics on political violence, the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, reported a 90% increase in civilian fatalities in Mali in the first quarter of 2020. This came after Dogon gunmen allegedly killed over 150 civilians last March.
The Barnabas Fund also reported that over 100 men, women, and children died in an attack on a mainly Christian village in central Mali last June.
According to Al Jazeera, 125 peacekeepers with the United Nations mission in Mali have been killed since 2013.
Mali is ranked as the 29th most dangerous countries for Christians, according to the Open Doors USA World Persecution Watch List.
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