View largeDownload slide
View largeDownload slide
Close modal

TIMBUKTU, Mali—“We are the only ones who didn’t leave.” Sandy Ag Mostapha is standing beside his cattle, a black turban binding his head and a loose shirt draped over dusty trousers. We are in Tayshak, a Tuareg encampment in the desert about six miles north of Timbuktu, where a few tents, made from goat skins, are pitched between feathery acacias. Before the crisis of 2012, some 60 families lived here, but that number has been reduced to just 15.

“Everybody left to go to the refugee camps,” says Sandy, “and it is only now they are starting to return. But most have lost their animals. They were frightened by the noise of the planes, and if you lose an animal here in the desert, they will die because they depend on us for water.”

One of his sons is walking...

You do not currently have access to this content.