A World Heritage site in central Mali that features elaborate pre-Islamic mud houses is in danger of deteriorating because it cannot be protected adequately in the face of insecurity, UNESCO said on Wednesday.
|The Great Mosque in Djenne, Mali [Credit: © UNESCO/Francesco Bandarin]|
The Old Towns of Djenné includes four archeological sites with nearly 2,000 houses whose decorative facades have remained intact since the 3rd century B.C. The buildings are among the most famous in Mali, a country that also boasts the ancient town of Timbuktu. The World Heritage Committee said insecurity was preventing measures to safeguard the site against the deterioration of construction materials, urbanization and erosion. Mali faces a threat from Islamist militants, as well as volatile separatist politics in the north.