In 2012, radical Islamists imposed a reign of terror on Mali's Timbuktu. Now patrolled by UN peacekeepers, the liberated city is gradually returning to normal.
For the past six years, northern Mali has suffered regular attacks. Many have died, and a humanitarian crisis has ensued. Hundreds of thousands no longer have access to health care and education, as schools and teachers are attacked and threatened.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited German troops stationed in Mali as part of a UN peacekeeping mission there. Germany and other European countries are trying to boost stability in the region, in an effort to reduce migration to Europe.
Mali's government has been struggling to stabilise the country since a coup in 2012 saw the northern part of the country fall to jihadists linked to al Qaeda and allied Tuareg rebels. Despite significant international efforts, the violence is not letting up.
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