The Conflict in Mali

Two weeks ago, the French military launched Operation Serval, intervening in a complicated, months-old conflict in northern Mali. A year earlier, Tuareg rebels had attacked government positions throughout northern Mali, temporarily seizing control of a large area and declaring it a new state named Azawad. The rebels soon lost control though, displaced by several Islamist groups, including elements of Al Qaeda, intent on imposing Sharia law in the region and possibly establishing a base for terrorist activity. Those militant groups began pushing south recently, prompting a planned U.N. action, but France felt compelled to act sooner than anticipated, to prevent further damaging gains. More than 2,000 French troops are now involved in Mali, pursuing and attacking anti-government forces from the air and ground, with support from nine other western countries and several neighboring African nations.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Jam Sta Rosa / AFP via Getty

    Photos of the Week: Ute Muster, Snow Leopard, Highway Acrobat

    A dog exhibition in Bishkek, a Kali Uchis performance in Texas, a demon-king burning in India, attacks on Kurdish sites in Syria, unrest in Haiti, the Masham Sheep Fair in England, and much more.

  • Tomacrosse / Shutterstock

    A Photo Trip to the Bungle Bungles

    Spectacular karst sandstone formations in Western Australia’s Purnululu National Park

  • Dolores Ochoa / AP

    Anti-austerity Protests and Strikes Shut Down Quito, Ecuador

    Demonstrations have roiled Ecuador’s capital city for more than a week, after the government eliminated a long-standing subsidy, doubling the price of fuel.

  • Ilyas Akengin / AFP / Getty

    Moving an Ancient Town to Higher Ground

    Images from southeastern Turkey, where the town of Hasankeyf—continuously occupied for some 12,000 years—is being partially relocated as the old site is abandoned to a rising reservoir behind a new dam