Mali government resigns

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The Mali prime minister and his government resigned four weeks after the massacre of some 160 Fulani herders by an ethnic vigilante group shocked the nation.

“The President accepts the resignation of the prime minister and the members of government,” a statement from President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s office said.

It gave no reason for the departure of Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, but legislators discussed a possible motion of no confidence in government because of the massacre and the failure to disarm militias or halt Islamist militants.

The March 23 killings by suspected hunters from the Dogon community on Ogossagou, a village populated by rival Fulani herders, were bloody even by the recent standards of Mali’s ever-worsening violence.

They followed a fatal assault by jihadists on an army post that killed at least 23 soldiers, also in Mali’s central region, claimed by an al Qaeda affiliate that counts Fulani herders in its ranks.

Malian authorities detained five people suspected of taking part in the massacre. They have not yet succeeded in disarming the militia many believe organised it, despite pledges by Maiga and Keita to do so.