» Protection of the heritage in case of conflict: the Malian defense and security forces informed on the 1954 Co...
04.07.2017 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Protection of the heritage in case of conflict: the Malian defense and security forces informed on the 1954 Convention

Group photography with participants in the Kôrè Center conference room ©UNESCO

Bamako, 30 June 2017 - the UNESCO Office in Bamako, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, organized in Ségou on 22 and 23 June 2017, the 2nd Session of the Training of Trainers workshop for the Forces Armed and Security Forces on the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and the Protocols of 1954 and 1999. Some forty participants made up of soldiers, gendarmes, policemen, customs officers, prison supervisors and site managers, have been fully informed on the Convention.

The Session was chaired by Birama Diakon, Technical Advisor, representing the Minister of Culture, with assistance from Ali Daou, Culture programme specialist at the UNESCO Office in Bamako; Modibo Traoré, Mayor of the Rural Municipality of Sébougou (Ségou); Moulaye Coulibaly, National Director of the Cultural Heritage of Mali; and Tiamba Yattara, Regional Director of Culture of Ségou.

Mr Daou recalled the success of a training program for armed forces operating in Mali for the protection of cultural heritage established in 2013 by UNESCO and MINUSMA in partnership with the Ministry of Culture. He added that "it is this experience, which has borne fruit, that UNESCO has generalized this training on a national scale".

Over two days, participants shared their experiences through presentations followed by rich debates. The various group exercises enabled the elaboration and validation of an outline of the draft Train-the-Trainers Plan for the Armed Forces and Security for the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Heritage.

The meeting concluded with a number of recommendations including the establishment of a National Committee of the Blue Shield, with a view to raise awareness among local communities and allow for the appropriation and recognition of their cultural heritage; the designation of focal points within the Departments in charge of Culture, Defense and Customs to ensure an effective exchange of information on the prevention of risks and the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict. The Chair, Mr Diakon, stressed that he was “satisfied with the results achieved during the two days of training and asked participants to make good use of what had been learned”.

The Training of Trainers workshop for military and security forces on the 1954 UNESCO Hague Convention is part of the capacity-building program for armed forces and public institutions for the protection of cultural property in the context of armed conflict in Mali. The Program was established based on the recommendations resulting from the Training workshop for the Forces Armed and Security Forces on the Convention organized between 16 and 17 November 2016 at the National Museum of Mali and it is envisaged that such training will continue as a national priority. Indeed, Tité Poudiougou, Chief Sergeant, National Guard, has already committed to "organizing gatherings to share information with our comrades who have not had the chance to be present at this training ".




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