Christians unite in prayer for victims of Ogossagou massacre

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Bamako (Agenzia Fides) – “The Bishops of Mali together with the evangelical community have sent a message of condolence to the nation, the President of the Republic and the Minister of Religious Affairs, for the massacre in the village of Ogossagou. Next Sunday there will be prayers for the victims, the wounded and their families and for peace in Mali”, says Fr. Alexandre Denou, Secretary General of the Bishops’ Conference of Mali to Agenzia Fides.

On March 24, at least 160 people of the Peuls ethnicity were massacred in the village of Ogossagou, in the center of the Country. “The crime was attributed to Dogons hunters, or at least to people dressed like them”, says Fr. Alexandre. The Dogons are a sort of confraternity of hunters. “Hunting is not the job that gives them a living, in most cases the Dogons are farmers who gather in this confraternity to hunt and create self-defense groups”, explains the priest. The Peuls are a population of farmers who often come into conflict with farmers for the division of land and water sources.

Mali, which has had to face the attempt of secession in the north, where jihadist groups are raging, lives in a situation of profound insecurity. “Last Sunday as a Church we prayed for the victims of the Dioura massacre”, recalled Fr. Alexandre. On Sunday, March 17, in the assault on the military camp of Dioura, 23 Malian soldiers lost their lives. The attack was perpetrated by a group affiliated with Al Qaida.

“The Catholic Church and the Evangelical Church are working together to promote peace, and together we appeal to the Malian nation so that concord and not division may prevail”, concludes Fr. Alexandre. (L.M.)