Breaking News
Home | In-Depth | Malians rally to support army as 20 bodies found in village

Malians rally to support army as 20 bodies found in village

WT24 Desk

 Thousands of people took to the streets of Mali’s capital Bamako on Friday to support the West African country’s army, which has suffered heavy losses as it struggles to quell a jihadist revolt, Agencies report.

The rally came as a grim discovery in the fragile Sahel nation’s conflict-
wracked centre illustrated the size of the challenge the army faces.

“Twenty bodies, some abandoned in wells, were found” by soldiers in the
village of Peh in the central Mopti region on Wednesday, the government said.

The soldiers were sent to the village after reports of an attack by
“unidentified individuals dressed in hunter’s clothes,” the government said
in a statement Friday.

The group “abandoned stolen herds and retreated” when the soldiers
arrived, the statement added, without saying how the 20 people died.

A rising jihadist insurgency that spread from the north to the centre of
Mali has inflamed tensions between herders and sedentary farmers. Hundreds of lives have been lost in tit-for-tat assaults.

In Bamako, protest organisers said around 15,000 people marched in support of the army, while the police put the number at “several thousand”.

Demonstrators held up signs saying “No embezzlement of our funds” and
“Long live FAMA (Malian armed forces)”.

Opposition leader Soumaila Cisse said the government had betrayed the
army.

“Our soldiers are ill-equipped. We should be fighting for our military to
be up to the job,” he said, blaming corruption.

Former minister and opposition figure Mohamed Ali Bathily said “the
military and ministers who are behind this corruption must be judged”.

In the last month around 100 Malian soldiers have been killed in two of
the deadliest attacks in the country’s history.

The army has been battling to contain the Islamist insurgency despite help
from France, African neighbours and the United Nations.\

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

x

Check Also

Man injured in ‘BSF firing’

Dies in Kurigram WT24 Desk A young man who was shot and wounded by members ...

Missing madrasa boy found dead

WT24 Desk Police recovered the throat-slit body of a madrasa student from Arpara village in ...