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.