When jihadists descended on the mainly-Christian village of Sobame Da, in central Mali, on 10 June they slaughtered everyone they could find. Over a hundred villagers died – including women, children and elderly – whether shot or burned to death in their homes. Just a few of the men managed somehow to survive. The exact death toll, which could be as high as 135, is hard to establish because of the extreme charring of some of the bodies.
Since 2016 jihadists have been waging a war to occupy north and central Mali; their declared aim is to establish sharia (Islamic law) throughout the country. The horror of Sobame Da is the worst single incident so far.
They dare not go home, they dare not go out
But earlier anti-Christian attacks have caused hundreds of Christians to leave their villages, fleeing with nothing but the clothes they are wearing, abandoning livestock, food stores and all their possessions. The displaced head for more peaceful areas of their country, but these places do not have resources to support the newcomers, who find there is insufficient food, shelter, drinking water and sanitary facilities. But they dare not go home to their crops and animals. “People continue to move because where they were living they risked being killed by terrorists,” wrote a Christian leader in Mali to Barnabas Fund this week.
Some villagers opted to stay in their homes, but they dare not go out to work their fields or graze their animals, for fear of being killed.
Aid for displaced and survivors
Barnabas Fund is helping Christians from the Mopti region (where Sobame Da village is located), south of Timbuktu, both those who have been displaced and survivors who remain in their villages. The total of 785 beneficiaries includes 433 children and 20 widows.
Will you help our brothers and sisters?
1 bucket costs £3.50 ($4.50; €4)
1 mosquito net costs £4.80 ($6; €5.30)
1 hygiene and sanitary kit costs £6 ($7.50; €7)
1 blanket costs £10 ($12.50; €11)
1 plastic tarpaulin costs £16 ($20; €18)
1 mattress costs £20 ($25; €22)
Rice for one family for one month costs £44 ($55; €48)
As well as basic supplies, the project provides medicines for malaria and diarrhoea and is funding a doctor to visit the families.
The total needed for the whole project is £43,995 ($55,156; €48,961)
|GBP £||US $||€|
|5) Waterproof plastic tarpaulins||1,975||2,476||2,198|
|6) Mosquito nets||3,408||4,273||3,793|
|7) Soap & sugar||452||567||503|
|8) Sanitary kits||2,400||3,009||2,671|
|9) Hygiene kits||1,975||2,476||2,198|
|10) Medicines against malaria and diarrhoea||1,440||1,805||1,602|
|11) Doctor costs (transport)||240||301||267|
|12) Transport of goods||548||687||610|
|13) Administration costs||494||619||550|
What will you give our persecuted brothers and sisters in Mali?