MALI. COURT HANDS DOWN FIVE DEATH SENTENCES OVER RELIGIOUS CLASH
April 7, 2005: a court in Mali condemned five people to death and dozens to prison for their part in a religious clash that killed 10 people.
Clashes between Sunni and Wahabi Muslims over the building of a mosque in Mali's western Nioro region left 10 dead in August 2003. The Sunnis had opposed the project, arguing their village already had seven mosques. Ninety-four people were arrested after the clashes but only went to trial recently. A judge condemned five to death and 81 to prison terms of three to 10 years, said prosecutor Oumar Diallo. He said the remaining 12 were acquitted. The death penalty has not been carried out in Mali since 1980, the sentences were expected to be commuted to life in prison. The mosque at the center of the clash was eventually built. (Sources: Dow Jones International News, 08/04/2005)