Across the desert, the wind combs the sand into smooth ripples that roll out evenly for miles. So when a hole is dug, you see it immediately. The sand looks agitated. Its pattern is disturbed. That’s how you know where the bodies are buried. Close to three dozen people in northern Mali disappeared earlier this year, killed or taken away by the country’s military, according to human rights groups. The victims were caught in a backlash against Arabs and Tuaregs, desert people who form a small and shrinking ethnic minority in Mali. As the West Africa bureau chief for The Associated Press, I wanted to know what had happened to them.
— An AP reporter beautifully chronicles their trip to hunt down where conflict killings were buried in Mali.