The Lost City of Timbuktu

Mali: A country much beleaguered by its recent violent history was once a centre for learning and one of the main trading routes for gold, salt and slave trades.   Rich in culture and teeming with prized musicians, now rocked to its very core by political unrest, we look back on happier times when Justine Shapiro meets one of the Tuareg leaders in the fabled city of Timbuktu.

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Tuareg traders display their wares on the top of a dune outside Timbuktu, 1,000 km (621 miles) northeast of Bamako