An increasing number of Mali’s political groups have warned of widespread fraud ahead of the presidential election on Sunday Jul. 28.
Soldiers belonging to the African-led International Support Mission to Mali continue to stream into this West African nation, as several hundred troops have already been deployed to secure towns across the country.
Malians, including students and businesses owners, are donating money to their military’s costly war against armed Islamic groups that have occupied the north of this impoverished West African country and committed atrocities against local populations.
In the southern Senegal village of Kael Bessel, female genital mutilation is no longer a taboo subject. Sexagenarian Fatoumata Sabaly speaks freely about female circumcision and girls' rights with her friends.
West African heads of state have restated their determination that no member of Mali's transitional government will be allowed to stand in the country's next presidential election. Their statement has fed a growing debate over who should be allowed to run.
A group of smallholder farmers in Mali have turned to the courts to try to recover land they say they have lost to big private investors. The legal action comes as foreign investors are losing interest in Mali due to political instability and an armed rebellion in the north.
Millet has become the basic ingredient for an enriched flour at the heart of an effort to establish a local, sustainable response to malnutrition in Mali.
Tuareg and Islamist rebel groups which seized control of northern Mali in March are trying to find common ground for the joint administration of the territory. Residents of the region fear that individual and collective freedoms will not be respected if such an alliance sets up an Islamic state.
Her neat, bright yellow headscarf matches the rest of her outfit, but contrasts with her weary expression. Sokona Soumounou sits a little apart from the crowd queueing for assistance from the World Food Programme in the southern Mali town of Ségou.
Cheick Modibo Diarra has been named interim prime minister of Mali as a transitional administration takes shape, to guide the country back to full constitutional government. But despite agreeing to hand power back to civilians, the military junta intends to retain an oversight role in the transition.
As armed groups have captured Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu, the three largest cities in northern Mali, the differences within the alliance have begun to emerge. There are reports of rape and looting in Gao, while in Timbuktu an Islamist faction, Ansar Dine, has announced the imposition of sharia law.
West African heads of state meeting in Côte d'Ivoire have given Mali's military junta three days to restore constitutional order and step down – or face a range of diplomatic and economic sanctions.
Mali's political parties have jointly called on the government to hold a forum for peace and reconciliation as a way to end a Tuareg rebellion launched several weeks ago. The uprising has forced around 55,000 people out of their homes, the majority fleeing the fighting in the north of the country, but others are seeking shelter from ethnic tension and violent demonstrations in cities in the south.
A new family law has raised tension in Mali. This controversial law, intended to give greater freedoms and rights to women, has been sent back to the National Assembly for a second reading after protests from Muslim radicals.