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Investigate senseless killings in Mali, hold attackers to account

Charred bodies of children are found after horrific attack on village
12 June 2019

Save the Children is shocked by the attack on the Sobanou-Kou village in central Mali, which left an estimated 95 people dead, including at least 20 children. 

The organisation calls for a thorough and independent investigation into the attacks, and for the attackers to be held to account for the killing and maiming of children and their families. 

Amavi Akpamagbo, Save the Children’s country director in Mali, said: 

“Once more, children and their families have been killed, following similar attacks on different communities since the beginning of the year. This attack happened in the evening, when people were in their houses in the hills. Houses were set alight whilst families were inside, people and cattle were slaughtered. The charred bodies of innocent children have been found inside the houses. 

The full details of the incident are not yet known, so we don’t know exactly what happened to survivors of the attack, many of whom are still missing. Children may have been abducted or have gone missing. Many of those who survived will have seen their loved ones being killed in front of their eyes. This kind of violence can never be acceptable. Children must be kept safe in all circumstances. 

It is imperative that help reaches the children and families as soon as possible: they need the full support to recover from this terrible attack. Save the Children is already coordinating with partners to send a team to the area on Wednesday and gain a better understanding of what happened and what the survivors need to get through this terrible ordeal. As with a similar attack in March 2019 in Ogossagou, Save the Children will do everything in its power to help the children and families that survived this tragedy. 

The security in the region is decreasing rapidly and this massacre is the latest very grim example of that. The consequences for children are profound: already, 935 schools had to close because of the insecurity. In central Mali some 150,000 children are missing out on school because of the insecurity and another 100,000 children can’t go to school in the north as an effect of the violence. That’s 250,000 children who are being deprived of their future. 

We need the authorities and the international community to urgently step up in providing safety in the region, so the affected children in the central and northern Mali can rebuild their lives in peace.”

For media enquires contact Jess Brennan on 0421 334 918.

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