Mali begins multi-million-dollar rebuild
01 November 2013, 09:16
Dakar - Mali has allocated more than $20m to rebuild parts of the west African nation shattered by months of conflict following a sweeping Islamist takeover by rebels linked to al-Qaeda, local media said on Thursday.
The cash will go to the northern desert regions of Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu as well as central districts heavily scarred in the insurgency launched last year, according to a report by Malian state television station ORTM broadcast in Senegal.
The channel said €16.7m was being ringfenced this year for "an emergency rehabilitation plan for the buildings destroyed by terrorists" eventually expected to cost around €20bn.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and other Islamist groups took advantage of an uprising by Tuareg rebels and a subsequent coup in March last year to take over northern Mali for nearly ten months before they were ousted by a French-led military intervention.
During a brutal occupation characterised by beatings and executions they destroyed the mausoleums of Muslim saints as well as valuable manuscripts in Timbuktu, the intellectual and spiritual capital of Islam in Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries.