Mali: The Blue Men Rise

Kiss the hand you cannot sever.

—Old Tuareg Saying

It cost the French army hundreds of hands to put the Tuaregs in a kissing mood. The fierce, veiled warriors of the high Sahara gave up their murderous ways only in 1917, when they settled uneasily into a pastoral life as goat and camel herdsmen in the sere, sand-scoured mountains north of Timbuctoo. Last week in the Republic of Mali, some 5,000 Tuaregs decided the kissing had to stop. Holed up in the Adrar des Iforas, a parched, 40,000-sq.-mi. redoubt that straddles the Mali-Algerian border, they prepared to fight off half of Mali's...

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