Mali: violent clash between Dozo hunters and jihadists have left dozens dead, villages burned and families displaced

While Dozo hunters and jihadists from the Macina katiba have reached an agreement in the Niono circle, they are clashing violently in the Djenné circle in central Mali. The latest clashes have left dozens dead in recent days, villages burned and families displaced.
The conflict began more than a month and a half ago. The jihadists of the Macina Katiba, led by Amadou Kouffa and affiliated with the Jnim (Iyad Ag Ghaly’s Groupe de soutien à l’Islam et aux musulmans, linked to Aqmi), who have been established in the Djenné circle for several years, stockpile bags of rice taken from the villages of the circle. This is the “zakat” (Islamic alms) imposed on the inhabitants. On this day, in mid-February, traditional Dozo hunters decided to collect some of it.
Sources – security officials, local authorities, notables, and community leaders or associations – give highly variable and difficult-to-verify figures: a dozen, thirty, or perhaps sixty dead on the part of the Dozo hunters, as well as wounded and prisoners.
The jihadists of the Macina Katiba reportedly used several vehicles armed with rocket launchers. At least two villages were also burned by the jihadists, forcing their inhabitants and those of other nearby villages to take refuge in the surrounding communes, notably Djenné and Sofara.
The Djenné Circle had been the subject of an inter-community agreement in August 2019, to ensure the free movement of all inhabitants: farmers, Bambara or Bozo, and Fulani herders. The agreement was signed by representatives of these communities and Dozo hunters, under the auspices of the NGO Centre HD and local Malian authorities.
Its monitoring committee met twice to try to calm the situation. Representatives of the various communities are currently trying to put an end to this new cycle of violence.
The Malian army has visited the area in recent days, but has declined to comment on its actions.

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Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network