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'Murderous attack': Nearly 100 people killed and 19 missing in latest massacre in Mali

There are currently 20 Irish Defence Forces personnel deployed to the EU Training Mission in Mali.

NEARLY 100 PEOPLE have been killed in an overnight attack on a village in central Mali, in the latest violence to strike the region. 

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the massacre, targeting a village inhabited by the Dogon community, bore the hallmarks of tit-for-tat ethnic attacks that have claimed hundreds of lives.

The government, giving a provisional toll, said 95 people had been killed, 19 were missing, numerous farm animals had been slaughtered and homes had been torched.

“Armed men, suspected to be terrorists, launched a murderous attack on this peaceful village,” it said in a statement. 

A Malian security source at the site of the massacre said “a Dogon village has been virtually wiped out”.

The attack comes less than three months after nearly 160 members of the Fulani ethnic group were slaughtered by a group identified as Dogon. 

The deadly raid took place on 23 March in the village of Ogassogou, home to the Fulani herding community, near the town of Mopti in central Mali.

The United Nations launched an investigation into the attack at the time. 

Irish Defence Forces

There are currently 20 Irish Defence Forces personnel deployed to the EU Training Mission (EUTM) in Mali. Ireland has participated in the mission since it was launched in 2013. 

The mission includes 9 Irish personnel who occupy staff appointments in the mission headquarters in Bamako and 11 personnel who are based in the Koulikoro training centre. 

Koulikoro is located around 650 kilometres from where the incident in March took place. 

In March, Luke Ming Flanagan MEP called on the government to bring home the Irish personnel following the massacre. 

In a statement to in March, the Department of Defence said Minister of State Paul Kehoe is “very concerned at the horrific reports” of that massacre. 

The Department said the “massacre and senseless loss of innocent lives underlines the need for an international presence and highlights the important function of the UN mandated EU Training mission”.

“Continued participation in this mission supports Ireland’s ongoing obligations to international peace and security and the commitment to maintaining the Defence Forces capabilities in international operations”, the Department said. 

On Sunday, reported that Minister of State Paul Kehoe will this week bring a proposal to Cabinet to deploy the Army Ranger Wing (ARW) with the UN peacekeeping force in Mali.

If approved this would be the first deployment of the ARW overseas in their special forces role since their deployment to Chad in 2008.

The UN mission MINUSMA (Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali) was established in April 2013 after an upsurge in violence.

If Cabinet gives the proposal the go-ahead, it will have to proceed to the Dáil for approval.

The Department of Defence has been contacted for a statement following the latest massacre.

With reporting by Michelle Hennessy and © AFP 2019

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