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The Silencing of 'The Festival in the Desert'

Islamists awaiting a prisoner exchange in the desert north of Timbuktu, Mali.

Islamists awaiting a prisoner exchange in the desert north of Timbuktu, Mali.

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Toumani Diabaté. Tinariwen. Ali Farka Touré. Amadou and Mariam.

Theses are just a few of the giants of Mali's music scene on the world stage. For more than a decade, the desert in the remote north of Mali has played host to a prominent international music festival.
   
Now, The Festival in the Desert has been cancelled. The Islamic militants who have seized large swaths of Mali's territory have no love for its great musicians.
   
Manny Ansar is the organizer of the Festival in the Desert. We reached him tonight in Oslo, Norway.

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