Trouble in Timbuktu - Northern Mali after the Islamist occupation

TIMBUKTU, 21 June 2013 (IRIN) - Almost five months after French troops liberated Timbuktu from Islamist fighters, the ancient desert town, like much of northern Mali, is struggling to recover from the effects of the nine-month occupation as well as longer-term security and development problems.

Few of the things a city needs in order to function - electricity, fuel, banks, marketplaces, and basic government services such as the town hall or judiciary - are fully up and running.

There are other, less visible but equally pernicious problems, including a breakdown in the very fabric of a citizenry long-famed, thanks to Timbuktu’s location at the crossroads of the Sahara, for its cosmopolitan mix of cultures and skin-hues. Mali also contends with a chronic regional food security crisis that leaves millions of people teetering on the edge of catastrophe every time the rains fail.

These issues and more are explored in IRIN’s latest multimedia In-Depth,
Trouble in Timbuktu - Northern Mali after the Islamist occupation.