Blogging the road 2 Timbuktu
In consultation with the Burkina Faso government, the organisers of the Festival In the Desert have announced that the Festival In the Desert in Exile slot on the Caravan of Peace, 20-22 February 2013, has been moved to a location close to Ouagadougou to better guarantee the security of the festival.
The festival was to be held at Orsi in the north of Burkina Faso.
While the islamists hold the region in Mali north of the Burkina border, an incursion into Burkina Faso for an attack on the festival itself is unlikely (see below). However, Orsi was felt to be too close to the border with Mali for comfort and so to safeguard the security of the festival it has been moved to a site close to the capital.
This is a good move. Of all the sites of the caravan, Orsi was the closest to islamist territory. This keeps the route of the caravan from Bamako to Segou and down to Burkina Faso for the Festival itself very secure all over.
This article was written in 2009. I will update it soon.
Rather than lifting Africa out of the realm of myth and placing it on a more real, transparent and honest footing with the rest of the world, international politics and specifically the “war on terror” have encouraged a new mythology around security in “the dark continent”.