January 16, 2013 5:55 pm
On January 10 the government of Mali pleaded for urgent French military assistance after Islamist forces ventured beyond their northern stronghold. In this explainer, Xan Rice, west Africa correspondent discusses the political background to the deteriorating situation in Mali and what prompted France’s decision to intervene.
Photo credits: AFP, EPA, AP, Reuters. Maps by Liz Faunce
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