Associated Press photojournalist Jerome Delay has spent recent months in Mali, documenting in powerful images the struggles in the landlocked country in West Africa.
In January 2012 a Tuareg rebellion began in Northern Mali, led by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad. In March, military officer Amadou Sanogo seized power in a coup d’état, citing failures in quelling the rebellion, and leading to sanctions and an embargo by the Economic Community of West African States.
The MNLA quickly took control of the north, declaring independence as Azawad. However, Islamist groups including Al-Qaeda, who had helped the MNLA defeat the government, turned on the Tuareg and took control of the North with the goal of implementing Sharia Law in Mali.
On 11 January 2013, the French Armed Forces intervened at the request of Sanogo’s government. The coordinated advance of the French and Malian troops claimed to have retaken the last remaining Islamist stronghold of Kidal, which was also the last of three northern provincial capitals. from The Denver Post
Footprints from worshippers are left in the sand at the ancient Askia mausoleum’s mosque, built in 1495 in Gao, northern Mali, Saturday Feb. 9, 2013. On Friday, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle killed himself attempting to blow up an army checkpoint, the first time a suicide bomber operated in Mali. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Issa Alzouma, 39, poses in front of his home in Gao, northern Mali. Alzouma’s arm was amputated by Islamist radicals on Dec. 21, 2012, after an Islamic tribunal charged him with spying. Alzouma, a father of three, denied the charges, and said he was just changing the faulty plug on his motorcycle’s engine alongside the road. The extremists fled the city Saturday as French, Chadian and Nigerian troops arrived, ending 10 months of radical Islamic control over the city. But the intervention came too late for Alzouma and the other men who lost their hands and probably their livelihoods, too, when the militants carried out amputations as punishments for theft and other alleged crimes under their strict interpretation of Shariah, or Islamic law. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)
Travelers driving from Niamey, Niger, line up to be searched at the entrance of Gao, northern Mali, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. Soldiers from Niger and Mali patrolled downtown Gao on foot Tuesday, combing the sand footpaths through empty market stalls to prevent radical Islamic fighters from returning to this embattled city in northern Mali. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
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