Located at the gateway to the Sahara desert, Timbuktu was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Following the fight which broke out between government forces and Tuareg (nomadic people living in North Western Africa) rebels, the site suffered heavy ruins.
In 2012, the great city was added to the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger. Many of its historic religious monuments and artifacts were said to be idolatrous and were either damaged or destroyed by the rebels.
However, two of the World Heritage has now been rebuilt through a partnership with local communities. An additional $8 million is needed to finish the rehabilitation of the site and of libraries that could again store hundreds of thousands of Malian manuscripts; of which around $3 million has been gathered by the UN agency through bilateral cooperation.
According to UNESCO, the three mosques and the 16 mausoleums comprising the property are part of the fabled city that was once home to 100 000 inhabitants. The library was constructed by the South African government in an effort to preserve Africa’s heritage and intellectual property.
With the support of UNESCO and the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, local masons have laid the first earthen brick to reconstruct two of the mausoleums
culled from britannica