It might be a while before we are able to make sense of the reports coming out of the Sahara about conflict between the indigenous Tuareg and the Mali government. With nearly a couple hundred thousand Tuareg refugees fleeing into neighboring countries, no doubt some intrepid reporters will take us beyond Associated Press soundbites and government propaganda.
While we await an accurate analysis of the situation, it might interest some to read one of my favorite travel writers, Lieve Joris, author of Mali Blues. Lieve has the rare gift of capturing the essence of a place and its people, which seems like a good way to begin.
Note: For more background on the indigenous Imazighen of North Africa, this January 2011 article has additional links and information.
Indigenous Peoples are putting their bodies on the line and it's our responsibility to make sure you know why. That takes time, expertise and resources - and we're up against a constant tide of misinformation and distorted coverage. By supporting IC you're empowering the kind of journalism we need, at the moment we need it most.