The Flame of Peace or “Flamme de la Paix” is a peace monument located on the northwest part of Timbuktu facing the desert.
This white construction with rifles, kalashnikovs and rocket launchers embedded in the surrounding concrete is the actual place where more than 3,000 weapons were burnt at the end of the Tuareg rebellion in the 1990’s. On 27 March 1996, the weapons were symbolically destroyed, and representatives from the Malian government and Tuareg rebel movements promised to promote peace and reconciliation in a region wracked by bitter conflict.
Two years earlier, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) sponsored what was to become a series of meetings in which the government and its international partners were able to hammer out a plan for the socio-economic revival of the North. The linchpin was a major conference in Timbuktu in July 1995, attended by rebel groups, at which a plan for recovery, along with the necessary financing, was tabled. A UNDP-managed trust fund, which drew $3 million from donor countries, was used to help ex-combatants establish new lives.
These two illustrations were reproduced in a book published by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, A Peace of Timbuktu: Democratic Governance, Development and African Peacemaking.