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January 28, 2013

Mali endures in conflict

Since The Big Picture last visited Mali, the country has slipped further toward chaos, with Islamist rebels taking large swaths of the north of the country. Attempts by rebels to move south toward the capital Bamako prompted the intervention of France, which has supplied troops and carried out airstrikes. Charges of summary killings and other atrocities by the Malian military have clouded perceptions of the conflict. West African nations are seeking aid from the United Nations for a regional force to help France and the Malian government push back against the rebels. The military force appears to be working, although it is uncertain if rebels have been defeated, have fled, or have simply blended in with civilian populations. Gathered here are images (mostly in the south, where photographers are able to work) of the daily lives of Malians, portraits of civilians, and pictures of the increasing military presence. -- Lane Turner (41 photos total)

A man displays a Malian and a French flag in Bamako on January 20, 2013. (Eric Gaillard/Reuters)

A Malian boy, Ibrahim, poses at his home with a piece of wood he found to protect himself in case of attacks by Malian Islamist rebel groups in Sevare on January 24, 2013. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images) #

Thirteen-year-old Manjou Cisse, who was wounded by shrapnel during fighting in Diabaly, rests at Nianakoro Fomba hospital in Segou on January 24, 2013. (Nic Bothma/EPA) #

A woman cooks in early morning in Markala on January 23, 2013. (Nic Bothma/EPA) #

Malians play soccer on a street in Segou on January 24, 2013. (Nic Bothma/EPA) #

Idrissa Maiga, a Malian farmer, poses in his house in Konna on January 27, 2013. Maiga's second wife, 41, and two boys and a girl aged from 10 to 14 perished during a French army air raid and were buried the same afternoon. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images) #

Women sing and dance in a train heading for the national annual Catholic pilgrimage in the town of Kita on November 17, 2012. Around 7000 pilgrims participated in a two day celebration. (Malin Palm/Reuters) #

A man serves tea amongst internally displaced Malians from Timbuktu at a makeshift cafe in Bamako on January 13, 2013. (Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images) #

People donate blood for the injured, on January 14, 2013 in Bamako. (Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images) #

A baby crawls in a street of Bamako on January 17, 2013. (Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man pulls a fishing net as he crosses the Niger River on January 22, 2013 near Segou. (Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images) #

Tuareg men socialize on January 22, 2013 in Segou. (Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images) #

A boy who fled northern Mali waits in a camp for internally displaced persons in Sevare on January 23, 2013. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images) #

A woman on a cart passes a sugar cane field burning before the sugar cane harvest on January 23, 2013 near Niono. (Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man carries goods to sell en route for the market on January 22, 2013 near Segou. (Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images) #

Men watch the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations football match between Mali and Ghana on a TV set on January 24, 2013 in the capital Bamako. (Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images) #

A boy waits to order snacks in a convenience store next to the central market in Diabaly on January 23, 2013. (Joe Penney/Reuters) #

Shadows are cast over tomatoes for sale in the central market in Diabaly on January 23, 2013. (Joe Penney/Reuters) #

Women harvest millet near the town of Niono on January 24, 2013. (Eric Gaillard/Reuters) #

Girls attend a French class at a secondary school in Bamako on January 14, 2013. The Malian government had shut public schools in Bamako and the military garrison town of Kati on January 9 due to growing insecurity, but a French-backed military offensive against Islamists in the north of the country has renewed confidence in the security of the cities. (Joe Penney/Reuters) #

People walk past a fire at Ngolonina market in Bamako on January 12, 2013. The fire was started after an accident at a gasoline depot. (Joe Penny/Reuters) #

Siaka Traore, a mud-brick maker, wipes mud off his hands while working in Heremakono on January 22, 2013. (Joe Penney/Reuters) #

Oumi Sangare washes clothes in a river in Markala, where French troops are stationed, on January 18, 2013. (Joe Penney/Reuters) #

Farmer Bintou Samake plants beans while carrying her son Mahamadou on her back on a farm in Heremakono on January 22, 2013. (Joe Penney/Reuters) #

Dembele, a day laborer, lights a cigarette at a sugar cane plantation in Siribala on January 24, 2013. (Joe Penney/Reuters) #

Bus passengers fleeing fighting between Islamist militants and French and Malian troops wait at a checkpoint in Sarakala on January 18, 2013. (Joe Penney/Reuters) #

Ali Ag Noh poses on January 25, 2013 in his home in the village of Seribala after his cousin, who is his wife's brother, Aboubakrim Ag Mohamed, and a cattle rancher, Samba Dicko, were both shot dead on January 24 allegedly by the Malian Army. According to Noh, Mohamed, a Tuareg, and Dicko were shot in the head in Seribala after being accused by two Malian soldiers of being Islamists or aiding Islamists. (Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images) #

Farmer Sallia Male poses for a picture in his courtyard in Diabaly on January 23, 2013. A French air strike hit a pickup truck, believed to belong to Islamist rebels, just outside Male's house during fighting between the rebels and the French and Malian militaries. (Joe Penney /Reuters) #

A malian shepherd leads goats on the road to Massina on January 23, 2013. (Florian Plaucheur/AFP/Getty Images) #

A flock of cows passes by a Malian soldier guarding the entrance of the strategic bridge of Merkala over the Niger River on January 24, 2013. (Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images) #

Units of the French army near Sevare on January 23, 2013. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images) #

Members of the Royal Air Force sit alongside French armored personnel carriers as they land in Bamako on January 15, 2013. The Royal Air Force is lending logistical support to France as it sends forces to Mali. (Andrew Winning/Reuters) #

French soldiers from 2nd RIMA 'Marsouins' unit ready their ammunition on the tarmac of the military airbase in Bamako on January 13, 2013. (Arnaud Roine/ECPAD/EPA) #

A French helicopter lands at Sevare's airport on January 23, 2013. (Jeremy Lempin/ECPAD/AFP/Getty Images) #

A French soldier (left) speaks with Malian soldiers between Markala and Diabaly on January 21, 2013. (Arnaud Roine/ECPAD/AFP/Getty Images) #

Malian youths watch French soldiers drive down a street in Niono on January 20, 2013. (Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images)#

A Malian soldier checks identities of passengers in a bus coming from Mopti on January 19, 2013 in Kongena. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)#

A Malian soldier rests under a tree in the recently liberated town of Diabaly on January 22, 2013. (Nic Bothma/EPA)#

A French soldier deployed in Diabaly aims an anti-tank missile launcher at a forward position near Diabaly on January 22, 2013. (Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images)#

Rocket-propelled grenades believed to belong to Islamist rebels are stockpiled in a courtyard in Diabaly on January 23, 2013. (Joe Penney/Reuters)#

A charred body believed to be an Islamist rebel burnt by inhabitants of Konna, according to local residents, lies in the recently liberated town on January 27, 2013. (Eric Gaillard/Reuters)#