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Dispatches from the Lost Country of Mali

Events | Headline and Cultural Forums

What happens when a country suddenly splits in two? In 2012, Mali, once a poster child for African democracy, all but collapsed in a succession of coups and countercoups as Islamist rebels claimed control of the country’s north, making it a new safe haven for al Qaeda. Award-winning author Peter Chilson became one of the few Westerners to travel to the conflict zone in the following months to document conditions on the ground. How did Mali so rapidly emerge as a new frontier in the ever-morphing global war on terror? Chilson presents a vivid picture of Mali—from the founding of French West Africa to developments in the long-running rebellion by the country’s ethnic Tuareg minority and the jihadist insurgency— putting the recent coup in a wider context.

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