“Local officials blame Fulani-Peulh herdsmen for the attack,” said Quist-Arcton, “and say it’s difficult to identify badly burned bodies and that many in the village of 300 are yet to be accounted for.”  

In a statement, Amnesty International’s West and Central African director Marie-Evelyne Petrus Barry said that the killings were only “the latest episode of a spiral of violence which hit the country” and showed “a total and utter contempt for human life.”

“The growing unrest and subsequent violence reported in the center of the country are characterized by killings, enforced disappearances, and burning of villages, on an appalling scale,” said Barry. “The authorities should immediately investigate these unlawful killings and bring those responsible to justice.”

Mali has been riven with conflict since 2013, when Islamist militants who had captured much of the country’s desert north began incursions into the country’s central and southern regions. They were pushed back to the Sahara in 2013 but eventually, per the BBC, “the uprising—which had spread to the centre of Mali by 2015—decreased government control and increased the availability of weapons,” making conflicts more likely to be met with violence than negotiation. 

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