Timbuktu heritage sites rebuilt amid surging violence

The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) praised the people of Timbuktu for reconstructing cultural heritage sites destroyed by armed groups, saying “those who wanted to erase the legacy of the past have failed,” even as the UN refugee agency reported a surge of fighting in northern Mali that has forced hundreds of people across the border into Mauritania.

In a press release, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees quoted Aminata, one of the new arrivals in Mauritania as saying: “Fear led us to leave.” She explained: “We travelled to Fassala – which is the official entry point for Malian refugees into Mauritania – in a small truck with other families from the area.”

Almost 400 people fleeing a renewed outbreak of fighting in northern Mali have sought refuge in Mauritania over the last few months, the agency said.

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