Tag Archives | Libya

Book Review: English, C. (2017). The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu – The Quest for this Storied City and the Race to Save its Treasures

English, C. (2017). The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu – The Quest for this Storied City and the Race to Save its Treasures. London: William Collins In August 2011 Tuareg fighters returned to Mali from the Libyan conflict, bringing with them weapons and military experience and the prospect of renewed violence in the country. By 2012, with the help of foreign and local militants, Tuareg separatists successfully seized most of Azawad, including the ancient city of Timbuktu. While the Malian government sought to regain control of the region, scholars in Timbuktu turned their thoughts to the thousands of historical archives held in the city and the risk that this insurrection posed to the security of these documents. Charlie English, a British journalist for The Guardian and member of the Royal Geographical Society with a long-standing fascination with Africa recounts the tale of how these archives were smuggled out of Timbuktu under the noses of the separatists and Islamists that had seized control of the region. Not only does English tell the story of how these archives were moved following the destruction of many of the city’s sacred monuments, but also interweaves his narrative with the stories of nineteenth-century European colonial explorers. […]

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Chad: ‘More than 250 rebels’ captured in convoy raid

Chad’s military said on Saturday that it had captured more than 250 rebels during an operation against militants crossing from Libya. A statement said that the large number included “four leaders” who had been detained. They said 40 of the rebels’ vehicles had been destroyed and hundreds of weapons had been seized. France, which provides military support to Chad, used warplanes this week to attack the convoy in the Ennedi region. It announced on Thursday that it had attacked the stream of vehicles several times this week in conjunction with Chad’s armed forces. The militants had managed to cross hundreds of kilometres into the country before being halted, AFP news agency reports. Intelligence sources who spoke to Reuters news agency said only 100 militants had been captured. Chad country profile The incursion is the latest in a series of threats against the rule of President Idriss Déby. French troops are currently deployed in Chad as part of Operation Barkhane – an ongoing coalition effort in Africa’s Sahel region to fight jihadist insurgents. France ruled Chad as a colony from 1900 until it gained independence in 1960 and it has supported President Déby before. Read more on BBC Africa

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