Armed men reportedly dressed as traditional hunters have killed 134 people, including women and children, during an attack on a Fulani village in central Mali on Saturday 23 March.

There are nearly 3 million Fula people in Mali, who are traditionally nomadic and mostly Muslim. The region’s Fulani ethnic community is frequently targeted on the pretext of being links with Jihadist organisations.

A UN spokesperson said the organization’s secretary general António Guterres was “shocked and outraged” by Saturday’s attack. UNICEF said it was providing assistance to victims of the attack.

“The Secretary-General condemns this act and calls on the Malian authorities to swiftly investigate it and bring the perpetrators to justice,” the spokesperson said, adding that he “calls on the Malian authorities to redouble their efforts to bring back peace and stability to central Mali.”

The Malian government said it “reiterates its determination to make every effort to hunt down the perpetrators of this barbarity of another age and to punish them, in accordance with the laws in force.”

Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar and the Council of Ministers announced the dissolution of a so-called self-defense group called Dan Na Ambassagou that is composed of members of the Dogon ethnic group.

Last year, Human Rights Watch accused Dan Na Ambassagou of targeting members of the Fulani ethnic group and attacks that “led to dozens of civilian deaths and injuries.”