The End of Tourism in Djenne

Jihadist occupation of the northern part of Mali has been disastrous for the fledgling tourist industry

Instruments for Africa

The Rooftop of the Great Mosque of DjenneInstruments for Africa

The coup in 2012 with the subsequent ten month Jihadist occupation of the northern part of the country has been followed by a deteriorating security situation which has put most of Mali into a red no-go area.

Details of the Great Mosque of DjenneInstruments for Africa

Needless to say this has been disastrous for the fledgling tourist industry, and Djenne has lost its main source of income and thereby the raison d’etre for the protection of its architectural heritage.

People at the Great Mosque of DjenneInstruments for Africa

The partial withdrawal of the state presence in Djenne and the subsequent weakening of institutions such as the Mission Culturelle, a branch of the Ministry of Culture with the task of enforcing the rules of the UNESCO brief, have further weakened the resolve to protect this mud city. 

This protection is now not necessary so much against the Jihadists who are encamped in the surrounding countryside as against the wish of the local people to build their houses in cement and the understandable wish to be part of the modern world. 

The Great Mosque of DjenneInstruments for Africa

Ultimately the extremists are responsible of course, since if the security threat was no longer there, tourism would come back and therefore the wish by the locals to protect this fragile and unique city.

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