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UNESCO team finds damage to Mali culture alarming

Source : AP | 08 Jun 2013

A team of experts led by UNESCO said Friday it has found far more serious damage to Mali’s cultural heritage in the fabled city of Timbuktu than initially estimated, with 16 mausoleums totally destroyed and over 4,000 ancient manuscripts lost.

Lazare Eloundou Assomo of UNESCO’s World Heritage Center, who led the mission, said a visit to the damaged and destroyed sites on Thursday revealed that the destruction by Islamist rebels who occupied Timbuktu and the rest of the north until early this year “is even more alarming than we thought.”

Disgruntled Mali soldiers desert posts demanding bonus

Source : AFP | 11 Mar 2013

A group of Malian troops briefly abandoned their posts this week and fired shots in the air to demand a deployment bonus, soldiers and officials said Sunday.

‘Several dozen Malian soldiers positioned in Diabaly with the forces from Burkina Faso deserted their posts on Thursday and Friday,’ a local official told AFP.

‘They pulled back to Segou to demand their deployment bonus and fired shots in the air,’ he said on condition of anonymity.

Mired in Mali: France and the Regional Quicksand

By Youssef Khazem | 04 Mar 2013

Mali crisis disrupts education of 700,000 children: U.N.

By AFP | 25 Feb 2013

The conflict in northern Mali has disrupted the education of nearly three quarters of a million children, the United Nations Children’s Fund told AFP on Sunday.

“The crisis in Mali has disrupted the education of some 700,000 Malian children, leaving 200,000 still with no access to school both in the north and south of the country, according to UNICEF and educational authorities in Mali,” UNICEF said in a statement.

As Mali Forces Are Accused of Torture, US Pledges Increased Funding

By Jacob Chamberlain | Agencies | 20 Feb 2013

Following recent allegations that the Mali army has been conducting widespread human rights violations in the nation's French-led and U.S.-backed conflict, the U.S. announced today that it will once again directly fund the country's military after a new round of elections.

U.N. warns of ‘catastrophic’ violence in Mali

By Al Arabiya with Agencies / 13 Feb 2013

Mali risks descending into “catastrophic” violence, the U.N. rights chief warned on Tuesday after a string of attacks by Islamist rebels on French-led forces.

The crisis in the West African nation has been worsening since the beginning of the campaign to oust Islamic rebel forces.

The war in Mali: an ‘Afghanistan’ nobody can afford

By Oussama Romdhani | 24 Jan 2013

Nobody could have probably better expressed the declared intent by the West to meet the ongoing challenges in the Sahel and Sahara regions than UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Speaking to the Commons, on Monday, he talked of a “generational struggle” against terrorism, which required the same type of resolve it took to defeat Nazi Germany.

Western Powers Continue to Reap War on Terror's Blowback

By Andrea Germanos | Agencies | 22 Jan 2013

Cite terrorism, bomb, fuel terrorism, repeat.

While blowback from Libya is felt in Mali, and from Mali in Algeria, recent comments from British and French leaders lay bare western powers' perception of conflict in Islamic lands through the lense of the war on terror that sees "terrorists" that must be stopped through military force with little thought given to the price that will be paid for the involvement.

Colonial foes come together as Islamists become the external threat

By Associated Press | 21 Jan 2013

The terrorist attack on an Algerian natural gas plant that left dozens of hostages and militants dead has demonstrated how a failing Algerian insurgency transformed itself into a regional threat, partly by exploiting the turmoil unleashed by the Arab Spring revolts.

Mali civilians flee as France keeps up air strikes

Source : Agencies | 15 Jan 2013

Tens of thousands of Mali civilians are fleeing as France kept up its air strikes against local fighters.

"An estimated 30,000 people may have been displaced as a direct result of the fighting in Central/Northern Mali," U.N. spokesman Eduardo del Buey told reporters.

Del Buey said the Interior Ministry in neighboring Mauritania had confirmed that thousands of refugees were en route from Mali to the Mauritanian border. No significant numbers of refugees had been observed arriving in Burkina Faso and Niger, he added.

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