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Title Foreign Correspondent: Mali : The Road To Timbuktu: Ep 1 Of 2
Published Australia : ABC1, 2013
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Description 1 online resource (streaming video file) (1 hr.) ; 169541939 bytes
Summary It's come to symbolise the ultimate back of beyond. Timbuktu. But recently the far away place was catapulted front and centre into world focus as Islamic militants laid siege to the place and aimed to take control of the rest of magical, mystical, musical Mali. Islamist control would see a treasure-trove of antiquities and important historical documents obliterated and there's little doubt the music too would die. According to some, it would almost certainly become the Afghanistan of Africa and a new entrenched frontier of Al Qaeda and terrorism. It appears the old colonial power in these parts, France, has managed to wrest Mali back from oblivion, but is it not safe and sound. In one of Foreign Correspondent's most challenging journeys, we go in search of the spirit and essence of amazing Mali, all the long, long way to Timbuktu.For most people, Timbuktu means nothing more than "in the middle of nowhere", but for those living there, in the West African country of Mali, it's a real place with a lot of very real problems. Like being taken over last year by radical Islamic militants who tried to impose their strict beliefs on a people famous for their easy going attitudes and love of music and colour."When the Islamists took control, it was like an entombed city, a dead city. Everyone was inside their houses, from fear of reprimand, fear of humiliation, fear of being brutalized, fear of violence." - Hamadou Maiga, Timbuktu residentMali's known for its music, art and stunning mud brick architecture. But the tourists and music fans who usually flock there have been absent since a coup by local tribal rebels was hijacked by Al Qaeda-linked jihadists last year.Suddenly Northern Mali, a lawless region the size of France usually ignored by the West, had become one of the globe's most significant terrorist threats. In what is an eye-popping visual feast, Foreign Correspondent's Eric Campbell and cameraman David Martin take an epic, spectacular 1,000 kilometre road trip through this seldom seen corner of the world. A place that's suddenly been catapulted into world attention as the latest prospective haven for Al Qaeda."Yes it was really a catastrophe. People were thinking, please France, come take Mali." - Babah Salah, musicianIn January Mali was saved by its former colonial occupier, France, who invaded the north and kicked out the Islamists. Welcomed as a liberator by thousands of ecstatic Malians, the French President flew to Timbuktu to pronounce it safe.But for how long? Campbell and Martin set off on an uncertain and sometimes dangerous journey from Mali's capital Bamako, to find out how the far off residents of Timbuktu are faring now, how they survived the reign of terror and if they're confident the coast is clear.Along the way they meet a cast of fascinating characters and document a way of life and history that could have been lost had the Islamists succeeded in their goal of taking over the entire country.A couple of days after the crew checked out of the only functioning hotel in Timbuktu, it was attacked and 11 people were killed in the fighting. It's believed more rebels are hiding out in desert caves just waiting for the French to leave before moving back in and taking over again
Event Broadcast 2013-04-16 at 20:00:00
Notes Classification: NC
Subject Musicians.
Terrorism -- Prevention.
Terrorism -- Religious aspects.
Victims of violent crimes.
Threats of violence.
Mali -- Tombouctou.
Form Streaming video
Author Campbell, Eric, reporter
Azima, Mohamed, contributor
Hamaha, Omar, contributor
Salah, Baba, contributor
Sarin, Sophie, contributor