Mali Dislocated

Kristof Vadino

2019 - Ongoing

South Mali walks on a thin red line. With the North and Central Mali prone to conflict, violence, djihadism, smugling and state collapse, South Mali is the last region where a kind of normal life is still possible. But everybody says jihadists are in every city, also in the capital. That you can not know who is affiliated. Distrust grows. Governors and mayors are threatened. Small groups intrude South Mali territory to tell villagers to construct mosques. They tell they will be back.

Travelling trough South Mali is a strange experience, seeing the well-known elegance of the country, the daily struggle for a living, music, poverty, smiles, one suddenly encounters danger not far off in space or time. Than it gets dark.

Here and there you see the visible consequences of the war, like a herdsmen refugee camp near the airport. Fulani herdsmen, mainly women and children, live on a dustbelt. The men are fighting in Central or North Mali or are dead. If South Mali collapses, all Mali is in chaos. And probably with lasting consequences for the whole Sahel region. For now most people go on with their lives. Seasonal labourors risking their health by 'fishing' quality sand out of the river, municipal authorities trying to hold on to their work, fishermen, an open slaughterhouse, a woman fetching water for daily use. I its a very unstable period.

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