UNESCO deplores destruction of Timbuktu mausoleums

The Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova on Thursday expressed shock at the ferocity that has marked the latest round of the destruction of Timbuktu’s mausoleums.

She was reacting to reports that at least three mausoleums in the area were destroyed on December 23, including that of the Al Hassan and Al Houseyni twins.

This was contained in a press statement by UNESCO and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.

The statement said reiterated UNESCO’s commitment to stand by the people of Mali as it did during the first wave of destruction last July.

It said two emergency missions were subsequently carried out to assess damage, and the World Heritage Committee adopted a resolution to create an emergency fund for the rehabilitation and safeguarding of Mali’s cultural heritage.

“I call on the whole of the international community to act, as a matter of urgency, and take the measures necessary to guarantee the protection of this heritage, which is such an important part of Mali’s cultural identity, and of humanity‘s history,” the statement said.

It said such wanton destruction on the inestimable treasures was a crime against the people of Mali, who had always shown great tolerance towards different religious and spiritual beliefs and practices. GNA

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