Monday, January 28, 2013

Mali Update

As French-led forces advance in Mali, the rebels seem to be fleeing back into the desert without much of a fight. Of course, since the desert is the size of Texas, it will be very hard to find them and finish them off. I suspect this war will degrade into a long-term insurgency that we will quickly forget.

Meanwhile, though, what I feared has happened in Timbuktu:
French troops managed to seize the famous town of Timbuktu over the weekend, but not before feeling rebels continued their assault not just on the people, but on the very culture and history of the region. The mayor of Timbuktu says that the Islamist group that was holding the city set fire to a library containing thousands of priceless manuscripts, some more than 1,000 years old. The documents, mostly in Arabic, chronicle the geography, history, and science of the Sahara region and of Isalm itself. The mayor described the loss as "the history of Timbuktu, of its people" and a "devastating blow" to world culture.

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