Mali’s tourism reset to zero, ethnic tension prevails — Xinhua Net com

MOPTI, Mali, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) — A calm acceptance kind of “whatever happens, happens” reigned over Mopti, a poor river- island city in central Mali, one day after the release of provisional results of the country’s presidential election giving Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK) a five-year term with absolute majority.

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About 580 km to its east, is Gao, a very important archeological center for African history. Askia, who created the biggest and the last Songhoi Empire, was buried there. His grave, built in 1595 with a unique architecture, is listed in the Humanity World Heritage.

Then 410 km to its north, Timbuktu stretches in the middle of dunes. As a hub of the Saharan trade in the middle-ages, the city shelters several libraries where ancient Arabic manuscripts are kept. In 1988, its three main mosques, together with the tombs and mausoleums of the saints were declared World Heritage Sites.

Restored mainly in the 2000s by the Malian government supported by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, most of cultural sites in northern Mali could have enjoyed a better visibility and received more visitors, if the political-military crisis had been saved, Lassana Cisse, director of Mali’s National Patrimony told Xinhua.

Read full feature article by Liu Fang on Xinhua Net com

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