Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Suspected gas cylinder blast kills 42 on Zimbabwe bus

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Theresa May soldiers on; Israel political turmoil; France fuel protests

Read more

FOCUS

'New right', old ideas? A closer look at the far right in Germany

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Art Deco: France's love affair with the Roaring Twenties

Read more

#THE 51%

India's vanishing women workers

Read more

REPORTERS

Reporters: An outside view of France's Fifth Republic

Read more

#TECH 24

Audrey Tang: A hacker-turned-minister in Taiwan

Read more

ENCORE!

The Land of the Rising Sun comes to La République

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Concerts Without Borders: Making classical music accessible

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

2018-11-02 REVISITED

Congolese nostalgic for era of Mobutu, the 'leopard of Zaire'

More than 20 years after the fall of the charismatic Congolese dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled the vast African country with an iron fist from 1965 to 1997, many Congolese...

Read more

2018-10-19 REVISITED

Semey Revisited: The legacy of nuclear testing in Kazakhstan

Nearly 30 years after the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in the steppes of eastern Kazakhstan, local people are still suffering the consequences of four decades...

Read more

2018-10-05 REVISITED

Baghdad Revisited: The resilience of the Iraqi people

"The abode of peace and capital of Islam" – this is how 14th century explorer Ibn Battuta described Baghdad in his writings. The city’s recent history, however, has been anything...

Read more

2018-09-21 REVISITED

Video: Hero or dictator? Ugandans divided over Idi Amin Dada’s legacy

Forty years after Idi Amin Dada’s bloody regime came to an end, Ugandans are divided over how to view their former leader. For older Ugandans, the president’s eight years at the...

Read more

2018-09-07 REVISITED

Video: One year after Hurricane Irma, St Martin struggles to recover

On September 5, 2017, Hurricane Irma – the most powerful the Caribbean has ever seen – hit Saint-Martin, the small island France shares with the Netherlands. At least 11 people...

Read more