UNESCO says Mali's Timbuktu in danger

UNESCO has moved to place the iconic city of Timbuktu and the 17th Century Tomb of Askia, one of the oldest shrines in the city Gao, on its endangered list.

UNESCO says Mali's Timbuktu in danger

World Bulletin/News Desk

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, known as UNESCO, say that they are extremely worried about the current situation in Mali, especially with regards to the historical city of Timbuktu located in the violence plagued north of the country.

In light of the Tuareg seizer of the north of Mali back in March, and the subsequent violent clashes between the two former allied-groups, UNESCO has moved to place the iconic city of Timbuktu and the 17th Century Tomb of Askia, one of the oldest shrines in the city Gao, on its endangered list.

Earlier this week rebel fighters from Ansar Dine clashed with ethnic Tuareg fighters in Gao, and seized the town from the control of the secularist Tuareg’s.

According to UNESCO, they are concerned about the possible stealing, looting and subsequent smuggling of the ancient and historical artifacts in these places.

Earlier Mali's interim and post-coup government had asked the UN cultural agency to priorities and recognise the threat posed to these historical sites and the high risk of cultural objects being smuggled.

The ancient city of Timbuktu, located near the edge of the Sahara Desert, is home to unique architectural buildings made from wood and mud, which have been standing for hundreds of year.

The historical city is also known to house around 700 000 ancient manuscripts and writings, housed in 60 private libraries through the city. UNESCO has expressed its concern about Timbuktu since the city was taken over by Tuareg’s and Islamists.

In March, a group of army officers overthrew the government of President Amadou Toure in March, which led to the ethnic Tuareg rebels, led by their political arm, the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad (MNLA), along with the fighters of Ansar Dine, to take advantage of the situation in Bamako by seizing the northern part of the country.

However, since then the alliance between them has been fractured and uneasy, which has led to fighting between the two former allies.

Last Mod: 30 Haziran 2012, 12:18
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