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Mali's descent from stability to chaos

22 June 2012 Last updated at 23:46 BST

In the space of a few months Mali has seen half its territory seized by a feuding assortment of Islamist militants and Tuareg separatists and its elected government overthrown by a military coup.

The BBC's Andrew Harding has been assessing what may happen next in a county once regarded as tolerant and seemingly stable democracy.