Monday December 11, 2017

Timbuktu and the Misery of African Heritage

 By Salif Diarra 
BAMAKO – As the government in Bamako is struggling to restore democracy in the Western African Country, Islamists in the far North are busy destroying the 15 Century holy city of Timbuktu, claiming it does not represent their Islamic ideals.
Timbuktu had been listed by UNESCO as one of the world’s endangered heritage sites after the rebels moved in. 
Although the city had been a truthful Islamic city dating back to as far as 12th Century, the Islamists believed that it has to be demolished first before applying sharia law in the North as it can hinder Islamic practices. 
The tombs have since the past centuries been worshipped by locals and international pilgrims as some of the holy cultural places. but this didn’t resonate well with the Islamists as they feel that because they have the power in the area, the locals shouldn’t feel worshiping tombs like Gods. They should instead follow their guidance as they have the power in the area.
But Mali’s government is too fragmented to enforce orders of their own. Instead, they condemned the practices carried out by the Islamist rebels in the North of the country, saying “its akin to war crimes. 
But who is to blame here? The ECOWAS or the recent Mali Government?
To say that its Mali Government would be misplacement of justice. Because Mali government has no power of its own to prevent ‘war crimes’ of such magnitude since its crippling without guidance as a result of the coup.
ECOWAS countries should have been the one to step in to prevent a similar catastrophe in the region, knowing that the idea of the Islamists in the northern Mali is to colonise Mali and eventually expand to the other parts of the Western Africa.
Irrespective of their constitutional mandates, presidents in West African Countries should send troops to curb the expanses of the insurgency and bring Mali to the stability it enjoyed in the past decades
 
Salif Diarra is a contributor for The Upper Nile Times
The Upper Nile Times 
Times Wire Staff
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