meeting in Bandiagara for security in Dogon country


How to protect the population in the area? What future for local peace agreements? What a place for self-defense groups A large meeting was held in Bandiagara, in the country of Dogon, to move forward on all these topics. Some commitments have been made, although significant differences continue to emerge.

On Sunday, local authorities, representatives of the population and those of Dan Na Ambassagou, a self-defense group formed around traditional dozo hunters, discussed these predominant security issues. The case of the recent blockades of Highway 15, the main axis crossing the Dogon country, was particularly at the heart of the discussions.

RN15 is regularly attacked by jihadist groups. In recent times, it has been mainly blocked by the hunters of Dan Na Ambassagou, who strive to protect the inhabitants – and who often pay the blood price – but who are also regularly accused of abusing civilians, especially from the Fulani community.

By blocking this road junction for several days, Dan Na Ambassagou intended to condemn the inter-Community agreements signed in several districts in central Mali, in particular in Koro and Bankass. The president of Dan Na Ambassagou, Mamoudou Goudienkilé, now considers “these local agreements” “which put us in slavery to terrorists”.

He and Youssouf Toloba, head of the armed branch of Dan Na Ambassagou, called for a strengthening of the military resources in the zone, with more bases in the towns along the road axis, and for a “union with the state”. Malien “To fight the jihadists.

Dan Na Ambassagou’s legitimacy questioned Officially dissolved two years ago, Dan Na Ambassagou has never been in practice and the Malian authorities have often undertaken to disarm the self-defense groups while more or less officially taking up their field services.

“They have neither the authority nor the legitimacy to declare these agreements invalid,” repeated an adviser to the national reconciliation minister, who is following the file closely. And who still consider the “legitimate” request for a reinforcement of military resources in the area.

In addition to the RN15 road, many villages in Dogon country live under the yoke of jihadist groups belonging to the Islam and Muslim Support Group (GSIM), linked to Aqmi. Some, like Dinangourous, have even been completely blocked for several months.

“They have committed themselves not to block the road anymore and it is a step forward,” a local authority present at the meeting concluded, adding: “Dan Na Ambassagou does not recognize the local agreements, but it only binds them. These agreements have made it possible to improve population mobility and reduce attacks. “


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