July 20, 2024

ICC: Second steering committee meeting reviews progress in Al Mahdi Al Faqi rase reparations

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ICC: Second steering committee meeting reviews progress in Al Mahdi Al Faqi rase reparations

ICC: Second steering committee meeting reviews progress in Al Mahdi Al Faqi rase reparations

The second meeting of the Steering Committee for the reparations in the Al Mahdi Al Faqi case was held on Friday, July 5, 2024, at the Ministry of Handicrafts, Culture, Hospitality, and Tourism.

The session was attended by members of the Coordination and Monitoring of Collective Reparations Measures related to the maintenance and rehabilitation of protected buildings in Timbuktu, under the Collective Reparations Program.

The meeting was chaired by Minister Andogoly Guindo, with the virtual presence of Aude Le Goff, head of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Trust Fund for Victims, and the physical presence of Ali Daou, the UNESCO representative in Mali, along with representatives from the German and Canadian embassies.

In the wake of the ICC’s reparations order in the Al Mahdi Al Faqi case, following the destruction of ten protected buildings in Timbuktu between 2012 and 2013, a series of measures were outlined, including compensation, psychological support, commemoration, rehabilitation, and maintenance of protected buildings.

A symbolic euro was awarded to the Malian community and the international community in 2021, with the Trust Fund for Victims overseeing implementation.

The committee’s mission is to design, coordinate, and monitor collective reparations measures initiated by the Ministry of Handicrafts, Culture, Hospitality, and Tourism.

This second meeting reviewed the comprehensive progress of activities carried out by the Fund and its partners since the program’s inception in 2021.

These activities include cultural heritage restoration, commemoration, economic resilience, and psychosocial support for victims.

Aude Le Goff highlighted various completed activities, such as rehabilitating cemetery walls, reconstructing the mausoleum of Cheick Mohamed Mahamoud Ben Cheick Al Arawani, planting trees and hedges around protected buildings, improving lighting around mausoleums and mosques, and enhancing the skills of local masons.

Future plans include finalizing tree and hedge planting around four cemeteries, implementing solar electrification for ten protected buildings, operationalizing the maintenance fund for Timbuktu’s protected buildings, and organizing an official ceremony to celebrate these efforts by the end of 2024.

However, several challenges persist, including security concerns, supply difficulties, rising material costs, and budget constraints.

The encroachment of cemetery surroundings by various activities poses environmental and logistical pressures. Addressing these issues remains a priority for the committee.

The resilience project for the Timbuktu community encompasses psychological support through community-based therapy, benefiting 720 individuals, and commemoration measures, such as erecting a monument and constructing an additional exhibition room at the Timbuktu Museum to preserve the mausoleums’ heritage.

Ali Daou of UNESCO expressed satisfaction with the ongoing collaboration with the ICC and the Trust Fund for Victims, emphasizing that 70% of the project is complete.

Minister Andogoly Guindo commended the participatory and inclusive approach, which has facilitated significant achievements, including technical and architectural studies, mausoleum reconstruction, cemetery wall rehabilitation, tree planting, and the establishment of a new museum exhibition room and a commemorative monument (LOUHA).

These initiatives underscore the collective commitment to preserving Timbuktu’s cultural heritage and supporting its community in recovering from the destructive events of 2012.

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