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Timbuktu leaders react to jihadist's apology

Timbuktu leaders react to jihadist's apology

Mali

Hours after a Malian rebel on trial at the ICC apologized for destroying historic cultural sites in Timbuktu, leaders of the community have reacted.

Ahmad Al Mahdi said he was sorry insisting that it was his last wrongful act and pleaded guilty.

Inhabitants of the historic town say they feel their history has been restored after the apology and guilty plea.

Mohamed Salah, Deputy Mayor of Timbuktu said, ‘‘Fortunately we had today, we are really very happy, we feel our history was restored and we are very happy with the fact that we can re build exactly what we lost in the time of sadness’‘.

Alamine Ousmane Toure, District Chief of the town added, ‘‘We’re really satisfied. What is certain is that really boosts our morale… There are a lot of unemployed people. So we want to do something but we could not. We very much want to build Timbuktu if we have the means. If we had partners who help us to rebuild Timbuktu, we would be really satisfied with that

Al Mahdi is accused of “intentionally directing attacks” against nine of Timbuktu’s famous mausoleums as well as the Sidi Yahia mosque between June 30 and July 11, 2012

AFP