Maintenance. We are currently updating the site. Please check back shortly
Members login
  • TrustLaw
  • Members Portal
Subscribe Donate

Reconstruction of Timbuktu tombs begins in Mali

Source: Reuters - Fri, 14 Mar 2014 21:15 GMT
Author: Reuters
hum-war hum-aid
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

DAKAR, March 14 (Reuters) - Malian masons on Friday began rebuilding mausoleums in the historic city of Timbuktu destroyed by Islamists during their occupation of the country's north, the United Nations said.

The earthen tombs of saints, located in the UNESCO listed desert city, were destroyed in July 2012 by militants who considered the local Sufi version of Islam to be idolatrous.

Video footage from the period shows armed militants hacking at the sites with pickaxes. Thousands of ancient manuscripts were also burned.

"The rehabilitation of Timbuktu's cultural heritage is critical for the Malian population, for the inhabitants of the city and for the entire world," said UNESCO head Irina Bokova.

Located on an old Saharan trading route that saw salt from the Arab north exchanged for gold and slaves from black Africa to the south, Timbuktu blossomed in the 16th century as an Islamic seat of learning, home to priests, scribes and jurists.

Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is now seeking to rebuild the country after a putsch in March 2012 plunged the country into chaos, allowing Islamists to seize the north and prompting former coloniser France to intervene.

Small pockets of Islamists still operate in the desert, preventing a recovery in the West African country's once thriving tourism sector. (Writing by Emma Farge; editing by Ralph Boulton)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus