Facing dire circumstances, its residents find themselves trapped in the war between the Malian army and Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), an Al-Qaeda affiliate.
Sidi looks down at the sacks of rice stacked in his shop and wipes his brow. Temperatures in the region of Timbuktu are unusually high this rainy season. Due to the lack of rain, supply routes remain navigable, but it’s not the heat that burdens this shopkeeper.
For three weeks now, his city, situated over 1000 kilometres north of Bamako, has been under jihadist blockade.
“The price of essential goods continues to rise, as does fuel. It’s not just the city suffering; it’s the entire Timbuktu region,” says Sidi, surveying his dwindling stock. On 8 August, JNIM announced an embargo on the region, blocking major supply routes.
Isolation of the region
Everything is harder to come by, from sugar to milk and potatoes. “The
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