A UNESCO emergency mission took place from 18 to 20 May 2012, composed of the Assistant Director-General, the Director of the World Heritage Centre and the Head of the Africa Unit of the World Heritage Centre in Mali. The objective of this mission was to hold discussions with the authorities in Mali in order to seek ways and means to save the world heritage of this country.
April and May 2012: alerts and international appeals
In view of the serious threats to the Malian cultural heritage, the Director-General has alerted the international community.
UNESCO partners in the fight against illicit traffic of cultural property and the neighbouring countries of Mali were also mobilized in order to avoid as much as possible the thefts and illicit export of Malian cultural property.
The Director-General also drew the attention of the President of the African Union Commission on the state of Malian cultural heritage and in particular the World Heritage sites in Timbuktu and Gao. The same approach was undertaken with the President of the Economic Community of West African States.