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Mali After the Coup

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Mali, a West African nation of 15 million people, is facing serious hardship following a March coup d'etat that has since collapsed. Islamist militant groups have filled the void, forming an extremist mini-state in northern Mali, resulting in sanctions imposed by other African nations. The collapse of state governance has chased away foreign investment, and tourism has dropped precipitously. Djenne, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed town, saw its annual tourist count drop from more than 10,000 to fewer than 20 total foreign visitors this year. Although Mali's cotton and gold industries appear to be weathering the insecurity well so far, future development is on hold as the interim government in the south works to resolve issues with the patchwork of militant Islamists and Tuareg separatists who rule the north. Reuters photographer Joe Penney has spent months in Mali this year, returning with many photos such as these collected here. [28 photos]

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Small-scale gold miner Modibo "Fama" Kone, 57, stands in an area where he is panning for gold in Kalana, Mali, on August 26, 2012. Mali faces serious difficulties following a March coup d'etat that has since collapsed, leaving Islamist militant groups to fill the void and form an extremist ministate in northern Mali. The collapse of state governance has chased away foreign investment, and tourism has dropped precipitously. (Reuters/Joe Penney)
Small-scale gold miner Modibo "Fama" Kone, 57, stands in an area where he is panning for gold in Kalana, Mali, on August 26, 2012. Mali faces serious difficulties following a March coup d'etat that has since collapsed, leaving Islamist militant groups to fill the void and form an extremist ministate in northern Mali. The collapse of state governance has chased away foreign investment, and tourism has dropped precipitously. (Reuters/Joe Penney)
Small-scale gold trader Aly Fofana, in his tent near artisanal gold mines in Kalana, Mali, on August 25, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
Gold miner Mamadou Diarra pans for gold at a small scale mine in Kalana August 26, 2012. Gold mining in Mali has rebounded since the landlocked West African nation's coup d'etat in late March and 2012 national gold production estimates stand at 500 tons. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
Small-scale gold miner Bangale Sidibe, 29, shoulders his pickaxe before heading to work in Kalana, on August 26, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
A gold miner peers into a small-scale mine where his colleague is working in Kalana, on August 26, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
People walk past the Grand Mosque of Djenne, a UNESCO World-Heritage listed site, in Djenne, Mali, on September 1, 2012. Nearly 10,000 annual tourists visited Djenne, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed town, in previous years. Since Mali's coup d'etat in late March, after which Islamist rebels took control of the country's northern two-thirds, less than 20 tourists have come to Djenne, according to the local tourism board. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
A traditional Moorish-style window, at an Islamic institute in Djenne, on September 1, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
Sisters Takia, 20, (L) and Fatimata Wallet Mohammed, 18, in their shelter at Mbera refugee camp in southern Mauritania, on May 23, 2012. In March, Takia and Fatimata fled their home in Lere, Mali, along with their parents and five other siblings. Mbera, a refugee camp set up for people fleeing violence in northern Mali, is home to more than 64,000 people, according to the United Nations' refugee agency, UNHCR. While most live in UNHCR-donated tents, hundreds of families living outside the official camp grounds reside in informal structures built by whatever materials they can find. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
Aboubakar Yaro, head of conservation at the Djenne Library of Manuscipts, poses next to Koranic scripts written on pieces of wood in Djenne, on September 1, 2012. Djenne is thought to have at least 10,000 manuscripts held in private collections, dating from the 14th to 20th centuries. Librarians from the northern Malian town of Timbuktu -- besieged since April by Al-Qaeda linked Islamists -- are urging the digitization of Djenne's manuscripts. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
Workers at the Malian Animal Feed Company factory, Yacouba Traore, left, and Amadou Maiga pose for a picture in Koutiala, Mali, on August 31, 2012. The factory, one of the largest animal feed factories in Mali, has lost at least 2 billion francs CFA (US $4 million) since the coup d'etat, Daouda Toure, the company's managing director said. More than 65 per cent of his animal feed buyers were in the north, and he has lost all of them since the Islamist takeover. Toure estimates that the company is stocking 10,000 tons of animal feed which in normal times would have been sold by now. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
The Badenya Company logo, painted on a wall of its animal feed and cooking oil factory in Koutiala, Mali, on August 31, 2012. After Mali's military coup d'etat in late March an energy crisis forced the factory to close for two months, and because most of the buyers for its animal feed are located in the Islamist-held north, the company has lost most of its business. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
A worker fabricates a plastic bag designed to hold cotton at the Badenya Company factory in Koutiala, on August 31, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
Moustapha Kone, CEO of the Badenya Company, in his office in Koutiala, on August 31, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
A disused conference room is pictured at Le Campement, the largest hotel in Djenne, Mali, on September 2, 2012. Le Campement, in business since 1994, closed all but a handful of rooms after the coup d'etat. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
A woman walks by the Grand Mosque of Djenne, on market day in Djenne, on September 2, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
Malian business mogul Mamadou Sinsy Coulibaly poses for a picture in his residence in Bamako, on September 6, 2012. Despite Mali's coup d'etat and an Islamist insurgency in the north, Coulibaly says his businesses have not seen any losses this year. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
Paintings depicting Malian business mogul Mamadou Sinsy Coulibaly decorate the wall of his residence in Bamako, on September 6, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
Traditional mud-brick walls, during sunset in Djenne, on September 2, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
Cotton farmer Bamory Traore, 28, with his relatives in front of his house outside Koutiala, Mali, on August 30 2012. Mali's cotton sector, which according to CMDT data directly employs four million of Mali's 15 million people, has not been directly effected by Mali's political and security crises. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
A Islamic teacher instructs students in Quranic verses in Djenne, Mali, on September 1, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
A man in traditional dress walks past a woman cooking on market day in Djenne, on September 2, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
Awa Baba Dji, 20, in the cafe she manages, located across the road from a joint Randgold-Iamgold mine in Kalana, on August 26, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
An artisanal gold miner tosses a bucket of muddy water to clear the way for work on a small-scale gold mine in Kalana, on August 26, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
A gold miner peers up from a small-scale mine where he is working in Kalana, on August 26, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
Amadou Dabo, 46, displays roughly seven grams of gold he bought from small-scale miners for about $30 in Kalana, on August 25, 2012. Since Mali's coup d'etat in late March, "the prices for gold have become unstable and some local banks often have liquidity problems," Dabo said. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
A gold miner's wet clothes are hung to dry on mining tools at a small scale mine in Kalana, on August 26, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
A gold miner drives home on his motorcycle after work in Kalana, on August 26, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #
Former tour guide Abderrahmane Cisse, 29, looks out from a rooftop in Djenne, on September 1, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Penney) #

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