Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

‘Mexico will not finance US wall,’ foreign minister says

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

African nations need to prepare for potential return of thousands of jihadists

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

DR Congo former child soldiers awarded $10 mn in damages in landmark ruling

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Website roots out "Rotten Apples"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Putin's press conference, Alabama election, One Planet Summit, Brexit Phase II, Disney & Fox

Read more

#TECH 24

WorldRemit: Helping migrant workers send money back home

Read more

FOCUS

The challenges awaiting the new leader of South Africa's ANC

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Bangladeshi PM calls violence in Myanmar 'unacceptable'

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Was 2017 the worst year for the environment?

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

2017-12-08 Egypt

Video: Tahrir Square, a melting pot for Egyptian revolutions

Egypt’s Tahrir Square is emblematic of the Arab Spring uprising. In January 2011, thousands of Egyptians thronged onto the Cairo square to protest society-wide corruption and...

Read more

2017-11-09 Europe

Video: Remembering France’s 'camp of shame' at Rivesaltes

For three decades, Rivesaltes in southern France was home to the largest internment camp in Western Europe. FRANCE 24 returns to the site where tens of thousands of people were...

Read more

2017-10-26 Middle East

Video: East Jerusalem still at heart of Middle East tensions

At the end of the 1967 Six-Day War, the victorious Israeli army took control of East Jerusalem, placing both Muslim and Christian holy sites under the control of the Israeli...

Read more

2017-10-20 Europe

Video: In St. Petersburg, legacy of Nazi siege lives on

As Russia’s cultural hub, St. Petersburg delights millions of tourists every year. Founded by Peter the Great, the city was renamed Petrograd during World War I then Leningrad...

Read more

2017-09-28 Asia-pacific

Video: Indian city of Pondicherry proud of its French touch

Our reporters returned to the Indian city of Pondicherry, in the Gulf of Bengal, a former trading post of the French East India Company. Fifty-five years after it was handed back...

Read more