U.S. Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard helped mark the return of the Festival on the Niger to Segou after it was suspended last year because of the events of 2012. Speaking at the premier of three short documentaries on reconciliation efforts, Ambassador Leonard called on Malians “to turn the page on the difficult events of the past months and look to a brighter future” and underscored the need for national reconciliation and forgiveness. She also vowed to continue to work with the people of Mali as they seek to re-stitch the rich social fabric of the nation. The films, whose production was supported by USAID, were shown on three consecutive evenings of the festival. These documentaries were followed by a brief discussion on reconciliation in Mali.