Mali: Visualizing the Adrar des Ifoghas

In case you’re already bored with coverage of the new pope (a Jesuit!)…

As a follow-up to my post last week about the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains in northeastern Mali (see here), I thought I’d share some interesting pictures and videos to give readers a better perspective.

Perhaps the best video footage we have of the French forces on their hunt for jihadists in the Adrar des Ifoghas (aka Adrar des Iforas) is found here. This visualization (thought to be the Ametetai valley) helps give observers thousands of miles away (like me and probably you too!) a sense of what kind of terrain the French and Chadian soldiers are dealing with: a sometimes rugged (Adrar des Ifoghas is littered with volcanic rocks), but seemingly manageable landscape. The fact that French armored personnel carriers are able to buzz around some parts of the area demonstrates that they could have had it far worse in terms of topography.

For a narrative in English, see here. (This video also gives viewers a sense of what the caves that jihadists were reportedly using to hide in this region look like.)

For a couple generic videos about the Tuareg people of the Adrar (from naturalists and anthropologists), see here and here.

Finally, Le Monde and L’Express have recent features (with pictures) about the operations in the Adrar des Ifoghas. Check them out here, here, and here (in French!).

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