PARIS, Jan 15 (KUNA) -- The UNESCO called on Tuesday for safeguarding the
cultural heritage of Mali from possible destruction due to ongoing military
ooperations in this Africa country.
Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova launched an appeal to all military
forces in Mali: "I ask all armed forces to make every effort to protect the
cultural heritage of the country, which has already been severely damaged."
Invoking the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural
Property in the event of armed conflict and its two Protocols, Irina Bokova
sent a letter to Malian and French authorities urging them to respect the
Convention, and in particular Article 4 that prohibits "exposing (cultural)
property to destruction or damage and calls for refraining from any act of
hostility, directed against such property".
"Malis cultural heritage is a jewel whose protection is important for the
whole of humanity. This is our common heritage, nothing can justify damaging
it," she said.
In anticipation of military operations, UNESCO has already provided the
topographic features relative to the location of sites to the concerned
General Staffs, as well as individual brochures and information for soldiers
to prevent damage to cultural heritage.
Mali has four sites inscribed on UNESCOs World Heritage List. (end)
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