— The Erimtan Angle —

‘UNESCO places Malian ancient city of Timbuktu and the tomb of Askia in Gao on an endangered list. The African Union and the international community have been called on to help protect the sites. Al Jazeera‘s Barbara Angopa has more (29 June 2012)’.

The situation in Mali has been in the news for some time now, and particularly as the name Al Qaeda pops up again now some people are finally  beginning to take notice. The journalist Serge Daniel explains: “Separatist Tuareg rebels led the takeover of northern Malibut Islamists who fought alongside them have now dislodged the desert nomads from all key positions, scuppering their dream of independence. It was the Tuareg’s rebellion, one which they have waged several times in past decades in their bid to split northern Mali, which they call Azawad, from the south where the government in Bamako has long marginalised their community. But this vast northern desert had also become the base of Al-Qaeda allies and Islamists, whose fighters appeared alongside the Tuareg as they seized the main cities and then planted their own black flag, laying down their strict Islamic laws”. [1]

The Malian journalist Tiegoum Boubeye Maiga opines that “Today, you need a magnifying glass to find a trace of the MNLA fighters”.[2]  The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad. was formed in 2011 from remnants of rebel factions that had been fighting the central government since the 1990s.

Daniel explains: “Boosted by the return of heavily armed Tuareg who had gone to fight for Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, the rebels launched their rebellion in January [2012] and quickly overwhelmed a demoralised and poorly equipped Malian army. Angry and frustrated, a group of low-ranking soldiers carried out a coup on March 22 against a government they said was incompetent in dealing with the rebellion. But the coup only worsened the situation as the unmanned north became easy prey and fell to the rebel groups in a matter of days”.[3]

Adding urgency to the above Al Jazeera report, the Ansar Dine spokesman Sanda Ould Boumama declared: “God is unique. All of this is haram [forbidden in Islam]. We are all Muslims. Unesco is what?”, adding that about the shrines present in Timbuktu, that “all of them, without exception”, would be destroyed.[4]  In order to comprehend fully the disaster about to take place in the legendary city, here is a BBC documentary on the lost libraries of Timbuktu, originally broadcast in April 2010.


[1] Serge Daniel, “Islamists rout Tuareg from their own rebellion in north Mali” AFP (28 June 2012). http://news.yahoo.com/islamists-rout-tuareg-own-rebellion-north-mali-213609295.html.

[2] Serge Daniel, “Islamists rout Tuareg from their own rebellion in northMali”.

[3] Serge Daniel, “Islamists rout Tuareg from their own rebellion in northMali”.

[4] “Timbuktu shrines damaged by Mali Ansar Dine Islamists” BBC News (30 June 2012). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18657463.

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Comments on: "What is happening in Mali and where is Timbuktu???" (1)

  1. Reynaldo Drayton said:

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post
    and also the rest of the site is extremely good.

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