Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

UK Foreign Secretary victim of Russian prank phone call

Read more

THE DEBATE

After Iran, North Korea: Trump scraps summit, Macron and Putin react

Read more

FOCUS

Training future football champions in Vietnam

Read more

ENCORE!

Guitar Hero: Johnny Marr brings solo work to the stage in Paris

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Presidential meeting signals 'another chapter' in Franco-Rwandan relations

Read more

THE DEBATE

Macron courts tech giants during Paris summit

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Trade truce: US-China tensions cool, but is a trade war still possible?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Viva Technology conference opens in Paris as Macron seeks French dominance

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Does the NFL's new ultimatum on kneeling pander to Donald Trump?

Read more

REVISITED

We return to places which have been in the news - often a long time ago, sometimes recently - to see how local people are rebuilding their lives. Sunday at 9.10 pm. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2016-09-09

Video: Timbuktu, Mali’s ‘City of 333 Saints’, still in the shadow of Islamists

Despite its liberation by French forces in early 2013, Timbuktu is still fighting crime and terrorism. Aside from the presence of security and defence forces, public services are scarce or have only partially returned, and armed groups proliferate. Our reporter returned to this city full of history, an intellectual centre of Islam, which still bears the scars of jihadist occupation and where UN peacekeepers are trying their best to keep the peace.

For more than 700 years, Timbuktu, the "Mysterious City", has been a key location for camel caravans. Before the Islamists seized control of it in 2012, this historical city in central Mali, on the edge of the Sahara desert, also attracted tourists from around the world. Since its liberation at the end of January 2013 after the intervention of French forces, Timbuktu has had a new lease of life, but the city is still struggling to recover from the dark period when Sharia law was applied to the letter. Ten months of repression, imprisonment, looting, rape and destruction – in particular of mausoleums classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites – have left deep wounds.

Our report provides a rare overview of daily life for residents of the "Pearl of the Desert". Yehia, Mahamane and the other Malians we met denounce the insecurity that has taken root at the gates of the city and elsewhere in the region. Criminal attacks and bombings are increasing on the main roads, which are vital to the local economy. However, the police, gendarmes and national guard constantly patrol this famed city torn apart by violence. And 3,000 UN peacekeepers are deployed alongside a unit of the French army and the Malian defence forces, in order to fight against terrorist holdouts, drug trafficking and rampant crime.

Given the very real risk of kidnapping and murder, our exclusive report was made possible thanks to the armed protection of the UN’s MINUSMA peacekeepers.

By François RIHOUAY

Archives

2018-05-11 Africa

Video: Ten years on, what remains of Somalia's 'Pirateland'?

A decade ago, Somali pirates were frequently in the headlines for hijacking boats and holding their crews for ransom. The epicentre of the piracy crisis was Somalia's...

Read more

2018-04-27 Americas

Video: California residents prepare for 'the Big One'

All Californians are aware that one day "the Big One" – a massive earthquake – will hit the San Francisco Bay area. According to experts, there is a 90 percent probability that...

Read more

2018-04-13 Europe

Video: ‘Yugo-nostalgia’ versus nationalism in the Balkans

Our reporters Michael Sztanke and Julien Alric returned to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, almost three decades after the break-up of Yugoslavia. Today, these two neighbouring...

Read more

2018-03-28 Africa

Video: The Sudanese people’s long wait for a brighter future

Our reporters Bastien Renouil and Élodie Cousin return to the Sudanese capital of Khartoum six months after the United States lifted its economic sanctions on the...

Read more

2018-03-16 Ireland

Ireland: The forgotten Angels of Tuam

Our reporters returned to Ireland, where the remains of 800 children who died at the Tuam Mother and Baby home in County Galway were found in a mass grave. Our team met with...

Read more