Tragically, starting in mid-january just
after the Festival in the Desert 2012 the Tuareg rebellion
resumed. This time with much greater access to weapons and
fighters. It is a very complicated situation and at present
I will not attempt to describe it in detail. However the
end result is a catastrophe for the residents of North
Mali. A military coup overthrew the democratically elected
government in Bamako. The military then abandoned all
semblance of protecting the north to consolidate their
position in Bamako. The rebels then managed to gain control
of all of the north. However islamist extremists who had
been fighting along side the rebels hijacked the rebellion
as soon as they secured their hold on the northern regions.
These extremists are now enforcing their narrow rigid view
of Islam on the residents.
Those remaining in Timbuktu are not only suffering from the violent enforcement of strict laws of behaviour they are also in penury of food and other necessary supplies. Few transporter dare make the trip now at risk from both the insurgents and the governments, suspect on both sides.
Our own business, like those of almost everyone in Timbuktu, especially anything to do with tourism, is closed indefinitely. As the operators of Sahara Passion we invested the majority of our profits into community development and made a point of paying fair wages to all with whom we collaborated. Now more than ever the the people of timbuktu to need our assistance. Whether they are in refugee camps or virtual prisoners in the city they are in desperate circumstances with little or no recourse to help themselves. We have set up lines of communication with our reliable contacts in or near the refugee camps as well as in Mali. Through these we have been sending what aid we can afford and passing on contributions that concerned former guests have sent.
I have now created a 2013 Calendar with images immortalizing some of the key things that are endangered or have already been lost to the depredations of the conquerers. All proceeds from the sale of the calendars will go to the refugees.
If you would like to donate funds directly 100% of your donation will go to the refugees. please contact me if you wish to do this.