In the districts abutting Mali’s vast north, war looms. In 2012, locals and others forced to flee the conquest of Mali’s north by rebel factions and Islamist groups linked with al-Qaeda are readying to be part of an offensive to take it back, supported in some form by the West as well as troops sent in by neighboring African states. But concerns abound over the readiness of Mali’s troops and irregular militiamen—seen here training in the district of Mopti in November, 2012 —and their ability to battle the experienced, well-armed fighters waiting for their attack.
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