Mali gets $1m to rebuild damaged heritage sites
London, August 6, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The UN’s cultural organisation, Unesco, is backing a $1m (£767,000) plan to help restore the heritage of central Mali damaged by recent armed conflict.
The Cliff of Bandiagara is famous for its homes carved into the rock as well as the traditional way of life.
Unesco says inter-communal fighting has destroyed a number of villages in the area – also known as the Land of the Dogon – as well as artefacts.
It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1989.
Unesco has teamed up with the Switzerland-based International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas, which is providing the money.
Both buildings and cultural objects have been lost resulting in the “deterioration of cultural practices and traditions of the Dogon, Peuls, Bozo, Bambara and Sonrhai groups”, Unesco said in a statement
It estimates that 15 of the area’s 289 villages have either been totally or partially ruined. Fifteen others have been affected close to the Cliff of Bandiagara.
While historically there had often been conflict between the more settled communities, such as the Dogon, and the pastoralists in the Mopti region, this became more violent after the militant jihadist uprising in northern Mali in 2012.
It spread to central areas by 2015 and brought more instability and a lack of government control into Mopti.