"Urgent measures are required to safeguard the Tomb of
"Concerning Gao's heritage, we must address the trauma experienced by the local population following violent attempts by the armed extremists to destroy their cultural identity and practices, including traditional music. We must heal these wounds to pave the way for reconciliation and lasting peace in the region," Eloundou Assomo concluded.
Other participants in the mission to Gao included:
During the visit, the experts found that the local community had carried out work to repair the Tomb of Askia, to avoid further deterioration of the 15th century earthen monument. Young people of the town of Gao also took the risk of defending the site during the occupation, preventing the extremists from damaging it in the way they damaged
Despite community efforts, the experts found that the mosque's prayer rooms require major conservation work before the next rainy season, to prevent further deterioration.
The experts also found that other cultural sites in Gao have deteriorated. Ninety percent of the archaeological site of Gao Saneye, which dates back to the 11th century, had been pillaged by the extremists. The newly built
Collections housed in the old building of the
During extensive consultations with local community representatives, the mission heard of the difficulties endured by the inhabitants, especially cultural groups, musicians and dancers, who saw their instruments burned and their equipment and costumes destroyed. The Takamba, a popular Songhoy dance, as well as the Holey-Orey, the dance of the possessed, were prohibited. Women were forced to cut their traditional braids and stop wearing traditional ethnic costumes.
TNS 30FurigayJane-140213-4637275 30FurigayJane
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