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An impressive delegation consisting of the United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon , the United Nations Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Chief Minusma Albert Koenders, the President of the World Bank Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the Prime Minister Mr Oumar Tatam Ly, the Commissioner of the European Union development Mr. Andris Piebalgs, visited the legendary city of 333 holy saints.

The delegation first visited the great mosque of Djingareyber where the Imam Mr Essayouty explained to the delegation the famous history of Djingareyber mosque— classified as a world heritage site by UNESCO.

According to the Imam , that mosque used to be a famous learning center in Mali . Its design was accredited to Abu Eshq Es Sahel who was paid 200 kg or 40000 muthgal of gold by Mansan Kankan Moussa, Emperor of Mali. Except for a small part of the northern facade which was built in limestone, the mosque of Djingareyber is entirely made of earth or soil plus organic materials such as fibres, straw and wood. Inside it there are inner courts yards, two minarets and twenty five raw of pillars, and prayer space for 2000 people. Mr. Ban-Ki-moon and his delegation were very impressed to hear the famous history of the mosque of Djingareyber. He explain for the imam of Timbuktu that he heard about the ancient city of Timbuktu and its historic sites all his life and that today he saw the beautiful architecture of that famous mosque.

After the visit to the great mosque the delegation went to the Institute of High Studies and Islamic Research for a conference with local authorities of Timbuktu, notables of Timbuktu, religious leaders of all the communities living in Timbuktu (Fulani Songhai, Moor, Tamasheq, Arabic Touareg, and so on. …).

Before the conference the Secretary General, the president of World Bank and the Commissioner for the European Union for Development explained that the goal of their visit in the legendary city of 333 holy saints is the rebuilding and restoration of the world heritage sites of Timbuktu.

That conference started with the speech of the governor of Timbuktu, Mr Mamadou Mangara, who thanked the delegation for that important visit to the legendary city of 333 holy saints.

According to the Governor : “the ancient city of Timbuktu had known a lot of conquest and occupation in the past but people of Timbuktu are tolerant and pacifist and practice a tolerant Islam and live with tolerance toward other religions. The economy of that city is essentially based on tourist activity but since kidnapping of westerners, touareg revolution and Islamist militant invasions in northern regions of Mali there is no more tourism in the region of Timbuktu.”

It’s important to notice that 95% of habitants of Timbuktu are living thanks to the incomes of tourist activity. These populations are generally in handicraft. During the crisis a large majority of touareg blacksmiths who worked in that sector fled the city and today they are living in refugee’s camps. Today they hope for peace and security in order to come back to their homes. Before the crisis thousands of tourists from all over the world visited the ancient city of Timbuktu and visited toaureg camps by camels.

After the speech of the governor the secretary general Mr Ban Ki-moon made an address to the audience. He first thanked people of Timbuktu for the good reception and explained that their visit in Timbuktu is to express their solidarity to help authorities of Mali and Sahel regions in the process of maintaining peace and security. Mr Ban Ki-moon explained in his address that he was very touched by the destruction of shrines and the burning of ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu. He ends his address by this quote “the united nations will always be with Mali.. The audience’s acclamation sounded in the hall of the Institute of High Studies and Islamic Research with the acclamation that one can understand in the sound the melody of hope for development and how important was that visit of the secretary general for people of Timbuktu. This delegation’s visit to the mysterious city is a sign of international support for Mali and in the Sahel regions. Despite the effect of the terrorist occupation one can see in the faces of audiences today that they are ready for change and opportunities to overcome life challenges.

According to the mayor of Timbuktu Mr. Hallé Ousmane Cissé, thanks to the support of the United Nations and partners populations of Timbuktu has benefited since the crisis up to now. He also underlined the important role that the United Nations played in education, health, and electricity for population of Timbuktu.

Afterwards Mr Abdramane ben essayouty, chairman of the religious leaders of Timbuktu and Imam of the great mosque of Djingareyber explain in his speech that the delegation’s visit in Timbuktu shows the love that they feel for Timbuktu. He also underlines that people of Timbuktu practice an Islam which is based in tolerance and the respect of other religions. He also said that people of Timbuktu are pacifist because they have known a lot of conquerors in the past.

It’s important to notice that all the representatives of different communities living in Timbuktu express their thanks for the visit. In their speeches all underline “national reconciliation between Malians”

The touareg community representative explained in his speech that toureg and other ethnic groups are compelled to live together without racism.

In what concerns development and job creation for the youth of Timbuktu, the representative of youth explained to the conference the lack of job opportunities for the younger generation of Timbuktu.

The great conference ended with addresses of Mr. Ban Ki-moon and the Prime Minister Mr Oumar Tatam Ly.

According to Ban Ki-moon the United Nations and the international community are committed to help the government in the process of reconstruction of Mali.

The prime minister reaffirms the commitment of the government of Mali for the development of the northern regions of Mali in general and the creation of job opportunities for the youth of northern regions of Mali.

Since the liberation of the ancient city of Timbuktu by the French army “operation serval” important leaders visited the historic city all focus on development ,rebuilding, and restoration of its ancient historic sites.

It’s important to remind our readers that the city was occupied by touareg revolutionaries and Islamist militants in 2012. During the occupation ancient city of Timbuktu was ruled under sharia law. Innocent people endured all manner of inhuman abuses and humiliation. During the occupation Islamists destroyed the identity of the people of Timbuktu, which are shrines. Among these shrines there is shrine of the saint “Sidi Mahamoud”, classified shrines of UNESCO in the world.

The treasure of Timbuktu, meaning the ancient manuscripts, which represent their human identity ,were burned by the Islamist militants before they fled the ancient city. Today people of Timbuktu hope for change and development .

the visit of Secretary General and his delegation shows us that the world is mobilized for rebuilding Mali and the spirit of the northern regions of Mali. Malians must be united as brothers and sisters and must come to the table of national reconciliation.

El Hadj Djitteye

Editor : John H Sime

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A United Nations delegation composed of British Overseas Territories Minister, Mr. Mark Simmonds , Head of WFP Mali Sally Haydock , and drss David Gressly paid a visit to Timbuktu, on Tuesday 1 October 2013. During the visit, the delegation met with the authorities of Timbuktu. The British minister explained to the press that his visit to Timbuktu was part of the reconstruction of Timbuktu, this historic city that was occupied by jihadists. It allowed him to confer with local authorities in order to know himself the challenges that authorities have.

In the context of humanitarian assistance to Mali, the British minister also told the local press that the British government finances in Timbuktu projects of humanitarian assistance through WFP. the British Minister was informed at a meeting with local authorities of regarding challenges to electricity facing the people of Timbuktu, and what they have done. They also considered solutions to this problem. The British minister also stressed the important role of the United Nations in the maintenance of peace and reconciliation in Mali . He has also work in the context of economic , cultural and political development , having met the challenges of security. The delegation also met with religious leaders of Timbuktu. At this meeting the British minister told the religious leaders about the interest demonstrated by British government to help Mali to overcome this crisis . The British minister also stressed the important role that religious leaders can play in reconciliation. On the collaboration of the British government and religious leaders, the minister wished success to the essential Mali in this situation.


EL HADJ DJITTEYE

LOPAC TIMBUKTU

Editor : john . H Sime

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• VISIT OF THE UNITED NATION FAO UNICEF AND OUMMOU SANGARE FOUNDATION


An impressive delegation of the United Nations, including FAO, UNICEF, PAM and the OUMMOU SANGARE FOUNDATION landed on the airport of Timbuktu on Friday, 17 February 2013. This delegation first visited the governor of the region of Timbuktu , Colonel Major Mr. Mamadou Mangara. They assess the situation of schools, security and food. The representatives of FAO talked about the issues of agriculture and how to assist farmers of the Timbuktu area in seeds and agricultural machinery.
The Delegation visited the Imam of Timbuktu Mr. Abdrahamane Ben Essayouti , the secretary general of the ministry of education Mr Souleymane Goundiam introduced the delegation . He said that the government of Mali and partners are working to resume activities in the northern region of Mali , particularly Timbuktu. Timbuktu had known the pain intolerance but today we arrive in a town where serenity reigns, where peace reigns however it ‘s a peace that must be consolidated by action of development. It’s for that cause that the government of Mali and partners visit people of Timbuktu today.

Afterwards the representative of the World Food Program, Ms Sally Haydock, Representative of PAM in Mali, said to the Imam of Timbuktu:
“Today we are here to greet you and thank you for staying with your population during the occupation and for supporting your population in the fire of war.” She also said: “Our organization also tries to support the population of Timbuktu by our activities, we are here and we will continue to support the population of Timbuktu”.
Afterwards the Imam of Timbuktu, Mr. Abdrahamane Ben Essayouti,  said: “You are welcome to Timbuktu, thanks to the donations of United Nations, PAM, UNICEF, and FAO people of Timbuktu are surviving because we were in an open sky prison. In the sector of school and administration we salute the efforts of the United Nations and other partners for the action they have been doing in Timbuktu.
Within the framework of peace and security we thanks the united nations, above all populations are coming back to their homeland they also need assistance, actually we are in the process of reconciliation Malian must be united as brothers and sisters and must walk hand by hand in order to sit on the table of brotherhood without racism or extremism.
It’s important to notice that we notable of Timbuktu great problem are the issues of children schooling but actually we are happy that they are going to school thanks to the support of partners. All the population of Timbuktu thanks you for the opportunity you are giving to our children to study.
We also hope that the United Nations, FAO, the Oummou Sangare foundation, UNICEF continue to work together with us to overcome our difficulties.
Without peace and security there is no development in Mali. It’s for Malians to work hand by hand on the table of brotherhood and overcome their difficulties in order to develop their country no one can do that for them.”

After the visit of the Imam of Timbuktu the delegation visited a primary school Called ECOLE FONDAMENTALE BAIDODJI AG IKNODODJAZE DU SITE DE BARIZ _HAMMABANGOU.
The headmaster of that school Mr. Toure and his students welcome visitors and explain that this school opened the 11 February 2013 after the Historic liberation of the city of Timbuktu.
It’s important to notice that school welcomes a lot of Arabic and Touareg children including other ethnic groups which live in the neighborhood of that school it’s a mosaic of ethnic group of Timbuktu.
The Delegation first visited the student of first grade (at 5 and 6 years old). When you look at these children you will notice the light of happiness , hope and how they are proud to come back again to school after 9 month of terror and frustration during the Islamic militant domination today school of Timbuktu come to life.
We interviewed Shannon Strother , Unicef chief, about social policy in Mali about the goal of unicef for children of the mysterious city of Timbuktu.
She said that the goal of Unicef is to get any child to school. “We are struggling for the education of little girls for we are meeting with the fathers of the children. The Imam and the governor of Timbuktu help us promote education for all and make sure children are going to school in Timbuktu.” She also said: “We want all girls and boys at school because we know that any educated girl means a better family and a better country to live in. For this reason we are providing school stationery for children and Food for catering.”

Afterwards we interviewed the director of the education academy of Timbuktu, Mr. Adrahamane Cisse : “I Am very happy to welcome these illustrious guests. First of all the government, represented by two ministries , the ministry of Education and the Ministry of Agriculture , and the United Nations including FAO , UNICEF and PAM. This is a sign of satisfaction and comfort for the northern Mali regions and for also the children for whom we have the responsibility to continue their schooling, in order to forget the sad memories that we had been endured in northern region of Mali. I Am really convinced that we will succeed in education this year.”

We also interviewed the secretary general of the Ministry of Education, Mr Souleymane Goundiam, to know about the goal of their visit in Timbuktu. he said:
“Our mission consists of making an inventory of fixtures in Timbuktu. For example this school we visited and to see what are the action which had been done, what was the impact of these actions in particular. In terms of school food and catering and to evaluate with the local actors of development the need which appears at this time for security, and when will displaced populations inside and as well as outside the country started to come back in their homeland.
Afterwards the representative of the World Food Program , Ms Sally Haydock, Representative of PAM in Mali , gave a speech. She started by thanking the headmaster of the school and student parent committee for the good reception. she also said that she notice in the faces of children Happiness and hope ” we will definitely support children and families”.
We will end this article by a famous quotation of Shannon Strother :” if we need peace , security, and development our children must be well educated.”

EL HADJ DJITTEYE

LOPAC TIMBUKTU

Editor : john H Sime

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This morning people  of Timbuktu detected a suicide mine in the road of the high school of timbuktu called lycéé Mahamane Alassane Haidara.

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fortunately Malian forces remove the primer from the mine without collateral damages.

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the international committee

of red cross proceed  of a donation of food for the population of timbuktu.

We have inetrview the commity of dustrubition of Djingareyber  led by the notable of Djingareyber  and voluntary of the red cross.

Each beneficiary got 250 kg of rice and 20 liter of groundnut oil , 25 kg of semolina and ½ kg of salt.

This donnation is destinated to vunerable person and elders of Timbuktu.

People of Timbuktu thanks donators for their assistance on can read in the face of beneficiary the light of happiness.


El Hadj Djitteye

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When Timbuktu fell under the control of different rebel groups and jihadists important people of Timbuktu decided to create a committee of crisis. This committee was created om April 2, 2012 and is a mosaic of community which lives in Timbuktu.
The goal of that committee in the face of occupation was to be an interface of populations and the invaders.
During the occupation they had discuss big issues with the invaders such as the problem of the central electrical supply and agriculture.
While Islamic militants were ruling Timbuktu they tried to convince that committee to collaborate but the committee showed them that they would not collaborate with their ideology to rule the town. For example when the committee of crisis asked for the opening of the schools the Islamic militants gave instruction that there will be an Islamic education at the schools. However, the committee categorically refused that demand.
We interviewed Mr Mahamane Alidji Toure Vice President of the committee of crisis of Timbuktu.
We questioned him about what he thought about the future of Mali as a nation?
He said that what was going on in Mali was tough during these last ten months
“The people of Timbuktu had support and overcame all human abuses the invaders had inflicted upon us thanks to our culture which is based on tolerance.
In regards to the future of Mali, I think that we Malian cultivate peace in our hearts and I am sure that Malian will find themselves at the table of brotherhood and united again”.
The second question was about about the condition of Arabs and Tuaregs?
Mr toure said: “There is a great cohesion between different ethnic groups which live in Timbuktu”.
Afterwards Mr Toure spoke about the birth of a new Association created in Timbuktu called GABVI : (Groupe d’action pour barrer la route a l’injustice) this association will support the poor population and protect them from human right abuses.
He finished with this quote “ Timbuktu is a land of peace and culture. The people of Timbuktu will be ready to live, Arabic and Tuareg people, as brothers and sisters”


El Hadj Djitteye

LOPAC TIMBUKTU

Editor John H Sime

Text

When Timbuktu fell under the control of different rebel groups and jihadists important people of Timbuktu decided to create a committee of crisis. This committee was created om April 2, 2012 and is a mosaic of community which lives in Timbuktu.
The goal of that committee in the face of occupation was to be an interface of populations and the invaders.
During the occupation they had discuss big issues with the invaders such as the problem of the central electrical supply and agriculture.
While Islamic militants were ruling Timbuktu they tried to convince that committee to collaborate but the committee showed them that they would not collaborate with their ideology to rule the town. For example when the committee of crisis asked for the opening of the schools the Islamic militants gave instruction that there will be an Islamic education at the schools. However, the committee categorically refused that demand.
We interviewed Mr Mahamane Alidji Toure Vice President of the committee of crisis of Timbuktu.
We questioned him about what he thought about the future of Mali as a nation?
He said that what was going on in Mali was tough during these last ten months
“The people of Timbuktu had support and overcame all human abuses the invaders had inflicted upon us thanks to our culture which is based on tolerance.
In regards to the future of Mali, I think that we Malian cultivate peace in our hearts and I am sure that Malian will find themselves at the table of brotherhood and united again”.
The second question was about about the condition of Arabs and Tuaregs?
Mr toure said: “There is a great cohesion between different ethnic groups which live in Timbuktu”.
Afterwards Mr Toure spoke about the birth of a new Association created in Timbuktu called GABVI : (Groupe d’action pour barrer la route a l’injustice) this association will support the poor population and protect them from human right abuses.
He finished with this quote “ Timbuktu is a land of peace and culture. The people of Timbuktu will be ready to live, Arabic and Tuareg people, as brothers and sisters”


El Hadj Djitteye

LOPAC TIMBUKTU

Editor John H Sime

Text

Fighting erupted in Timbuktu after a suicide bomber attacked a malian checkpoint on saturday night. A group of djihadists millitant infiltrated the city prompting the french to intervene in support of the Malian army.

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Association of young for justice and development ( A J D N )

On Saturday 16th February 2013 big cultural ceremony was held in Timbuktu which included all strata of the society of Timbuktu. They all made presentation of traditional dances for their audiences
The ceremony started with the speech by the vice mayor of Timbuktu, Mr Addarawi.
He started with greetings to the audience and thanked both the Malian troops and the French troops. He also thanked the population of Timbuktu for the warm reception and advised the population of Timbuktu to engage in good collaboration with the various troops for the welfare of their mission.
Afterwards the sound of Tinde start penetrating the heart of the audience. Here we refer to traditional dances of Timbuktu. Here is a history of traditional dances of Timbuktu:

• HISTORY OF TRADITIONAL DANCES
Traditional dances forge the cultural identity of the custodians of this rich cultural heritage. Each ethnic group has its own instruments, musical styles and dance steps of its own and is integral part of its cultural identity.
There are several dances and their expressions are born of the intermingling of people together to identify different ethnic groups and social classes. All ceremonies are accompanied by Dance Corporation. These dances are not only fun but they are meant for each gesture has a meaning. In Timbuktu, each ethnic group, each class has its own dance.
Thus we have “Abarbarba,” the dance of the butchers of Timbuktu which are derived from Songhay, the Fulani, the kel-Tamasheq, and the armas. This dance is specif
ically organized in families of butchers to celebrate marriages between butchers and also at other major ceremonies (circumcision, baptism, etc).Then we have the “dimba” traditional dance of the families of masons, such as Koba Hou and Haman Hou. The dance has a great symbolic value and occurs only during major events such as the maintenance of mosques. There is also the dance of the farmers, the “Hala”, which is organized by the Ag Welan of Sareykeïna. We also have the “Diaba” and “Challo” traditional dances of black Tamashek living in Timbuktu. According to oral tradition, the first inhabitants of the City of 333 Saints, the Kel Tamashek-blacks, were able, through the ages, to create admirable folk dances which are rich and varied, from their vast cultural heritage. These dances are usually held to celebrate weddings, harvests, and other ceremonies. They are used when the turbaned youth of the tribe have passed the threshold of adolescence. Finally, they are used at major events in the Independence Square, such as the reception of high dignitaries of the nation or dignitaries from friendly countries.

In addition to these dances we have the “Belle ldjé.” This dance is the specialty of the Moors and Harratin. They are all held during religious festivals, marriages and finally to celebrate the return of men from the Taoudeni mine after about a year away from home. We cannot forget to mention imported dances as “Bambara Tubal,” or Bambara dance. As its name suggests, is a traditional dance from the region of Segou. this was introduced to Timbuktu by the illustrious family of Senegalese Moundou Diop. This dance comes from the Bambara kingdom of Segou and “Djenjé” is a national dance of traditional Araoune.

This evening at the place of Sankore the French military toops and Malian military troops enjoyed all these dances and thanked the population of Timbuktu for the warm, memorable reception.
After these traditional dances the president of the Committee of Crisis, Diadie Hamandoune, made a speech. He said that people of Timbuktu will always overcome their difficulties through the preservation of tradition and customs which char
acterize the people of Timbuktu . He thanked the Youth Committee for the ceremony.

Now was the time for the speech of the Colonel of the French military troops Col. Jezz
Col Jezz is the commander chief of the French military troops which liberated Timbuktu. He said that they entered in Mali on the 11th of January. They were based in Bamako by the time they came to the epic liberation of the ancient city o
f Timbuktu. He said that they started the battle and liberated Diabali, Nanpala, Lere, Tonka, Goundam. “Finally we penetrated Timbuktu a mythical place for the people of France. It’s us who must liberate that ancient city of Timbuktu” .

• He also talked about the warm reception that the population of Timbuktu gave during their trip and their stay here. He said: “we liberate a nation, we will never lose the spirit of freedom, I had seen this nation trust my troops I would like to ask this nation to trust their own troops too. Col. Jezz added “ inside my heart I will definitely left a place for Timbuktu, Hurrah for Mali, Hurrah for Malian military troops!”.
After the French military troops chief , the chief of the Malian military troops, Mr Sangare, took the microphone for his speech. He started by thanking the audience for the reception. He said that one week after the retaking the control of Timbuktu, schools started to open. He also said that “culture (MUSIC and DANCE ) is the only factor which can make smile people who are hurt and make people smile who are crying”

 

El Hadj Djitteye

LOPAC TIMBUKTU

Editor : John H Sime

Producer Amanda Bauman 

 

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While French drones were bombing various Islamic militant positions, ancient manuscripts had been stolen and were burned in Timbuktu by militants which have been living in the Ahmed Baba Institute in Timbuktu. This is an institute of advanced studies and Islamic research.
The Islamic militants entered the institute on April 2, 2012. They pretended to secure the ancient manuscripts from thieves. After a week they forbade the workers of the institute to enter the center.
While The city of Timbuktu fell to the hands of these militants the Ahmed Baba institute was on the way to move from its ancient residence to come to a new one near the great mosque of Sankore, a move financed by people of South Africa.


The vice Director of the institute Mr Abdoulaye Cisse said: “Our happiness is that we took advantage of moving a great part of manuscripts to Bamako”. They had used many means of transportation in order to hide them to invaders. They had put manuscripts in old bags and mud. Then they transported them in the backs of camels and donkeys.
These ancient manuscripts represent the soul of Timbuktu because it’s the center of culture of the great university of Sankore and the Koranic school of Timbuktu.
Thanks to these ancient manuscripts Timbuktu represents the history of Africa because these hand written documents existed before colonizers penetrated our land.
These ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu deal with all subjects: history, geography, theology, geomancy, Islamic law, medicine and other subjects. The culture that the people of Timbuktu got from these manuscripts is one of peace and tolerance In a word, the people of Timbuktu are pacific.
Before the crisis 100, 000 manuscripts, including with the entire collections of the 30 libraries of Timbuktu, must be di
gitized and listed by a nongovernmental organization called : Luxembourg-development. 

The Islamic militants had do

ne one last act which touched the soul of the people of Timbuktu, before they fled —- burning these manuscripts. it’s the soul of Timbuktu They touched the people. The people are living their pain, they are crying without tears in their eyes. But one can imagine how they live their suffering. These militants had tried to erase the past of Timbuktu, as is known around the world as the city of ancient hand written documents.

Now is the time to rewrite our manuscript.

El Hadj Djitteye

LOPAC TIMBUKTU

Editor John H Sime

Producer : Amanda Bauman