11 July 2012

Mali: State Dept. On Destruction of Muslim Shrines in Timbuktu

Photo: Emilio Labrador
Timbuktu mud mosque.


A statement by Victoria Nuland, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State on the destruction of Muslim shrines in Timbuktu:

The United States strongly condemns the destruction of Muslim shrines and other religious and historic sites in Timbuktu by Islamic militants, including Ansar al-Dine. We are outraged by the continued destruction of these World Heritage Sites and the ongoing intimidation of local populations. We join UNESCO in urging an immediate end to these destructive and irreversible acts and call for all parties to protect this invaluable cultural heritage for future generations. This is an assault not just on Mali but on the heritage of all Africans, and those responsible for these acts should be brought to justice.

We remain deeply concerned about the situation of the Malian people. Mali has been a strong partner of the United States in the areas of democracy and governance, economic development, and peace and security. We support the on-going efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union to bring about a return to civilian rule in Mali and to mediate a solution to the rebellion in the north. In addition, we appeal to all parties to ensure impartial and unhindered humanitarian access to any and all populations in northern Mali.

We strongly insist that all actors in Mali respect human rights and international humanitarian law. The people of Mali deserve to live in a secure environment free from fear and oppression where their universal human rights and fundamental freedoms - including the freedoms of religion and of expression - are protected and respected.

Copyright © 2012 United States Department of State. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.