Wednesday 19 September 2012

Mali: Ansar Dine Targetting Libraries

Things are getting worse in northern Mali as infighting between the rebels continues. The Taureg-led Ansar Dinine is imposing strict ultra-conservative Islamist rule over the regions in its power. This has included  levelling the historic Sufi monuments and shrines of Timbuktu and apparently destroying party of the region’s movable cultural heritage. Now Kimberly Alderman ('Militia Destroys Ancient Libraries in Mali') is indicating they have turned their attention also to the assembly in Timbuktu of an estimated 700,000 ancient Islamic manuscripts: "While it is unclear whether the Ansar Eddine has destroyed these ancient manuscripts, reports indicate that libraries and research centers have been pillaged and [items] sold into the illicit antiquity trade".

Tahir Shah, 'Trouble in Timbuktu: An extremist militia is turning back the clock in northern Mali, destroying precious artifacts and instituting brutal sharia law', Newsweek Sep 3, 2012.

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