Africa

Mali attacks: Protests held against jihadist violence

Image copyright AFP

Tens of thousands of people have staged a protest in the Malian capital, Bamako, against rising ethnic and jihadist violence.

The protest was called by Muslim leaders, groups representing ethnic Fulani herders and opposition parties.

Last month more than 150 people were killed in an attack on a village in central Mali targeting the Fulani community.

Image copyright AFP

Clashes between Dogon hunters and semi-nomadic Fulani herders can occur over access to land and water.

The Dogon also accuse Fulanis of ties to jihadist groups while the Fulanis claim that Mali's military has given arms to hunters to attack them.

Image copyright Reuters

Many demonstrators held signs calling on President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita - also known as IBK- to step down.

Image copyright Reuters

An influential imam Mahmoud Dicko told the crowd: "My Fulani brothers, revenge is not the solution; my Dogon brothers, you must lay down your weapons."

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Some demonstrators expressed their anger against France. Operation Barkhane, a French anti-jihadist regional force, operates in Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso, and Niger.

Police later dispersed the crowd.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Last month President Keita visited the site of the attack on the village of Ogossagou

In 2012, Islamist extremists seized the country's north, prompting an intervention by French troops.

The militants were driven from cities but have exploited ethnic rivalries in parts of Mali. Jihadist violence has also spread to its neighbours.

Mali country profile

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