Mali investigate Fulani killings
In March people marched in Bamako for the rights of Fulani people (AFP)
Mali’s defence minister has ordered an investigation into the alleged execution of 14 civilians last week by soldiers of the national army.
Defence Minister Tiena Coulibaly has promised to investigate conflicting reports from the military and the victims’ families about how the deaths occurred.
The army says 14 terrorist suspects were killed last Thursday in Dioura, in central Mali, after they had been arrested and tried to escape.
But the victims’ families say the 14 had nothing to do with extremism.
Human rights activists claim the army have been targeting Malians from the Fulani ethnic group.
Last week, Amnesty International reported a similar incident where six Fulanis had been found in a grave in the town of Dogo three days after they were arrested by the military.
Mali’s Fulanis have a fractious history with the authorities. Many of them are cattle herders and their nomadic work brings them into conflict with sedentary people.