It is with great sadness that we at YPT have received the news from both world media and our local partners in Mali of the attack which has happened near the south of Bankass, in the Dogon Country, close to the border with Burkina Faso.
Over the nights of the 23rd and 24 of march, some 160 Fulani villagers (also called Peul or Fulbe) have been killed in attack over the villages of Ogossassou and Welingara. The attack, for the moment a single event, has been conducted by unidentified attackers, who were allegedly disguised as Dogon hunters. The victims would have been targeted for their alleged ties to jihadist groups.
After the attack, the Malian president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, has decided to announce the dissolution of the self-defense dogon militia known as Dan Nan Ambassagou, seeing them as the most probable perpetrators of the massacre. The leader of this militia has refused the dissolution and argues that they were not responsible for the attack and are necessary for the defense of the Dogon people from the jihadist. The leader said that they wouldn’t disarm as long as the jihadists won’t, bringing the situation to a stalemate.
The last 3 days have been declared days of mourning in Mali and an investigation shall now be started.
It is not unheard of for Fulani and Dogon to fight over different issues, mainly territorial issues. An attack like this, however, is extremely sad and might lead to an escalation of conflict if nothing is done to appease the local populations.
What it mean for our tours
Rest assured that we are constantly monitoring the situation along with our knowledgeable local partners. Our tours itinerary do not visit this part of Mali and we make sure that our guides always prioritize safety when it is necessary to make a call and reroute or cancel a tour. At the moment, the situation is localized to a certain zone of the Mopti region and not its whole. Our tours and individual tours do not follow roads which would bring us close to the conflict zone.
We hope, from the bottom of our hearts, that this situation will no lead to more death or harm and that peace will prevail. We do not think that it is necessary to isolate the overall beautiful land and extremely hospitable people of Mali for the shameful acts of evil individuals, no matter their side.
We are constantly assessing the state of every destination we do tours to and only team up with experts on the ground. We would encourage our customers to consult their respective government’s safety advisory and make their own mind about travelling to zones at risk.