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Thirty die in Mali-Burkina Faso ethnic border clash

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Fri, 25 May 2012 01:14 GMT
Author: Reuters
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OUAGADOUGOU, May 25 (Reuters) - At least 30 people have been killed after clashes erupted between Dogon farmers and nomadic Fulani herders along the Mali-Burkina Faso border, Burkina authorities said late on Thursday.

The fighting, which began on Tuesday, took place near Sari, a Malian town about 15 km (9 miles) from the border with Burkina Faso, Khalil Bara, governor of Burkina Faso's northern region, said on state radio.

Bara said the dispute originated from an agreement between the two west African nations, which allows Burkina herders to take their livestock to camps in Mali where there was available pasture land.

During the rule of former Malian president Amadou Toumani Toure, Fulani herders were allowed into Mali through special corridors. However, Mali has descended into chaos since a March 22 military coup ousted Toure and left over half of the country occupied my Tuareg rebels and Islamist militants.

"The Dogons, who have always opposed the opening of these corridors, taking advantage of the crisis in Mali, have decided to solve the problem by attacking Fulani settlements," Bara said, adding that most of the deaths were Fulanis.

The governor said over 1,000 people, mostly herders, have fled back into villages in Burkina Faso.

The Malian government was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Mathieu Bonkoungou; writing bu Bate Felix; editing by Todd Eastham)

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