Mourning and Solidarity After a Tragedy

Dear colleagues, friends, and partners of Muso,

Early Saturday morning, our patients in Bankass, in the village of Ogossagou-Peuhl, were massacred. At least 154 of our patients were killed, and their village was destroyed. Our hearts are united today, together in mourning, in heartbreak with the families of our patients.

All members of the Muso team are safe and accounted for. Since Saturday morning, our team in Bankass and our government partners have been supporting the evacuation of and care for more than 63 patients, survivors of the attack, many of whom were gravely injured.

Since late 2018, the actions of armed extremists have fueled an escalating inter-ethnic conflict in Mali’s Bankass district, where Muso provides care for 140,000 people. Since last year, we have implemented a comprehensive emergency plan across our eight sites in Bankass. In response to this weekend’s incident, we have taken additional measures to protect our team and provide our patients with ongoing care.

Muso’s Rural Site Coordinator, Dr. Amadou Beydi Cissé, who helms the team responding to this tragedy, writes:

This Saturday, we and our patients lived through a nightmare. We saw a massacre we could never have imagined, of 154 people of all ages. Our thoughts are with their families and those of all victims of such conflicts, in Bankass and elsewhere.

Sleep in peace, my brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, children, and grandparents.

Faced with this situation, our team has mobilized quickly, assisting the wounded in the community and at the hospital level. Through this rapid response, we were able to save lives. Our team, embedded as we are in the communities we serve, was able to be on the ground evacuating patients hours before additional support arrived.

Through our team’s actions, we show that we stand on the side of our patients, as an impartial actor, here to offer health services both daily and in times of crisis. In this, our team is united, strong, and more committed than ever.

I am proud to be a part of this team. Our team has worked valiantly day and night to support the populations we serve, standing beside our patients to offer comfort and care in this terrible moment.

Together with you all, we continue this critical work.

Heartfelt thanks to all of you, friends, partners, and colleagues, who are with us at this time. Your messages give us comfort. We know that you share our devastation. Know that continuing this work, continuing to provide care, honors the memory of the deceased.

Dogon and Fulani, Inna goto Baba goto. (Dogon and Peuhl, same mother, same father.)

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.” At this moment of darkness, we are, each, a source of light, through our common effort. Our patients need us today, and will need us in the days and years to come.

You can read more about this weekend’s attack here. If you would like to share messages with your support and condolences with the community of Ogossagou-Peuhl, you can send written messages to me and we will translate them into Peuhl.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment and solidarity.

Ari and the Muso team

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