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Soldiers part of the Nigerois battalion bound for Mali pose in front... News Photo2012-2013 Northern Mali Conflict,Africa,Armed Forces,Armored Tank,Armored Vehicle,Army,Army Soldier,Artillery,Battalion,Horizontal,Kilometer,Mali,Military,Military Base,Military Training,Mode of Transport,Niamey,Niger,Politics,Portrait,Tied Up,Visit,WarPhotographer Collection: AFP 2013 AFPSoldiers part of the Nigerois battalion bound for Mali pose in front of their armourd vehicles on January 22, 2013 during a visit to a training camp near Ouallam, some 100 kms north of Niamey, where Niger soldiers are being prepared to be sent to Mali. Eight west African nations -- Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Senegal, Niger, Guinea, Ghana and Burkina Faso -- as well as Chad have announced their contribution to an African force aimed at helping Mali retake its Islamist-controlled north. AFP PHOTO / BOUREIMA HAMA (Photo credit should read BOUREIMA HAMA/AFP/Getty Images)