Weapons become the flame of peace in Mali

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    3000 rifles, kalashnikovs and rocket launchers become the Flame of Peace in Timbuktu, Mali, in March 1996. Rebels voluntarily laid down their arms in exchange for a peaceful integration into civil society. 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. Photo: UNDP, 1996

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