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UN vandals spray graffiti on Sahara’s prehistoric art
Times Online (UK) ^ | January 31 2008 | Dalya Alberge

Posted on 01/31/2008 3:47:29 AM PST by knighthawk

Spectacular prehistoric depictions of animal and human figures created up to 6,000 years ago on Western Saharan rocks have been vandalised by United Nations peacekeepers, The Times has learnt.

Archaeological sites boasting ancient paintings and engravings of giraffes, buffalo and elephants have been defaced within the past two years by personnel attached to the UN mission, known by its French acronym, Minurso.

Graffiti, some of it more than a metre high and sprayed with paint meant for use for marking routes, now blights the rock art at Lajuad, an isolated site known as Devil Mountain, which is regarded by the local Sahrawi population as a mystical place of great cultural significance.

Many of the UN “graffiti artists” signed and dated their work, revealing their identities and where they are from. Minurso personnel stationed in Western Sahara come from almost 30 countries. They are monitoring a ceasefire between the occupying Moroccan forces and the Polisario Front, which is seeking independence.

One Croatian peacekeeper scrawled “Petar CroArmy” across a rock face. Extensive traces of pigment from rock painting are visible underneath. Another left behind Cyrillic graffiti, and “Evgeny” from Russia scribbled AUI, the code for the Minurso base at Aguanit. “Mahmoud” from Egypt left his mark at Rekeiz Lemgasem, and “Ibrahim” wrote his name and number over a prehistoric painting of a giraffe. “Issa”, a Kenyan major who signed his name and wrote the date, had just completed a UN course, Ethics in Peacekeeping, documents show.

Julian J. Harston, the UN’s representative of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara and head of Minurso, said that he had been shocked by the scale of the vandalism. After visiting two of the sites, including Devil Mountain, this week, he said: “I was appalled. You’d think some of them would know better. These are officers, not squaddies.” The UN would take action against any officers “kind enough to leave their calling card. We will report it to the troop-contributing countries. We can move them.”

The extent of the damage is revealed in a report by Nick Brooks, of the University of East Anglia, and Joaquim Soler, of the University of Gerona, Spain, which was passed to The Times yesterday. It outlines the “severe vandalism”, saying that it “now appears to be an essentially universal practice when Minurso staff visit rock art sites . . . Minurso staff have felt entitled to destroy elements of Western Sahara’s and the Sahrawis’ cultural heritage, despite being aware of UN ethics in peacekeeping, and in breach of legislation enshrined in the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.”

It concludes: “Minurso personnel have played a major role in damaging archaeological sites, and such staff are engaged in the systematic defacement of valuable archaeological sites over a large area . . . the recent damage at Lajuad is unprecedented.”

The vandalism will reignite the debate about the conduct of UN peacekeepers after a series of scandals. Last January the UN admitted that more than 200 of its troops had been disciplined for sex offences, including rape and child abuse, in the preceding three years; in May it emerged that Pakistani peacekeepers had been trading weapons with Congolese militia.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: godsgravesglyphs; sahara; un; vandalism
And these people want to rule the world?
1 posted on 01/31/2008 3:47:36 AM PST by knighthawk
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To: knighthawk

In another 6,000 years, the same thing could happen...


2 posted on 01/31/2008 3:52:20 AM PST by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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To: knighthawk

Major jerks.


3 posted on 01/31/2008 3:53:35 AM PST by forkinsocket
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To: knighthawk
That’s what happens when you think the UN should send in armed troops. They shouldn’t be mall cops let alone “peace keepers”
How many times to we have to see the callous, stupid, blundering UN screw up an already bad situation?
4 posted on 01/31/2008 3:59:00 AM PST by benjamin032
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To: knighthawk

How ironic..

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1197900.stm

“The United Nations has warned Afghanistan’s Taleban rulers of extremely serious consequences if they carry out their threat to destroy the country’s ancient Buddhist statues.”


5 posted on 01/31/2008 4:09:45 AM PST by Dutchguy
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To: knighthawk

You worry about what they are doing to the rocks? You should worry about what they are doing to the women!


6 posted on 01/31/2008 4:21:12 AM PST by gridlock (Proud Romney Supporter since January 20, 2008)
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To: knighthawk

You worry about what they are doing to the rocks? You should worry about what they are doing to the women!


7 posted on 01/31/2008 4:26:25 AM PST by gridlock (Proud Romney Supporter since January 20, 2008)
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To: knighthawk

The poor UN workers could not find any young girls to rape.


8 posted on 01/31/2008 4:54:05 AM PST by Diogenesis (Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum)
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To: knighthawk
wretched refuse
9 posted on 01/31/2008 5:05:18 AM PST by NonValueAdded (What Would Hobson Choose?)
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To: knighthawk

Wasn’t the original art, in effect, graffiti itself?


10 posted on 01/31/2008 5:09:06 AM PST by canuck_conservative
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To: knighthawk
“UN”has become a byword for ‘unaccountable, incompetent, corrupt, out of control thieves and thugs’

When UN scandals and failures are exposed, of course the UN is joined at the hip with the US and is direcelty and permanently associated with America. All the rest of the time, a yawning chasm exists between the UN and its ‘efforts’ and the US and its goals in the world. Convenient, huh?

11 posted on 01/31/2008 5:30:16 AM PST by SMARTY (Public opinion has the power of the lie/creating it is the work of radical politicians in a democra)
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To: canuck_conservative
Not quite the same kind of graffiti as the modern "Kilroy was here" style...
12 posted on 01/31/2008 6:13:46 AM PST by BenLurkin
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To: knighthawk
m


13 posted on 01/31/2008 6:18:07 AM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: knighthawk

I think the Croat and Russian in the story are covering for a whole lot more Muslims than the three listed.


14 posted on 01/31/2008 7:57:49 AM PST by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (Give Them Liberty Or Give Them Death! - IT'S ISLAM, STUPID! - Islam Delenda Est! - Rumble thee forth)
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To: MizSterious; Nix 2; green lantern; BeOSUser; Brad's Gramma; dreadme; Turk2; keri; ...

Ping


15 posted on 01/31/2008 2:54:41 PM PST by knighthawk (We will always remember We will always be proud We will always be prepared so we may always be free)
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Prehistoric Desert Town Found In Western Sahara (15,000 Years Old)
Reuters | 8-19-2004 | Reuters
Posted on 08/20/2004 12:10:09 PM EDT by blam
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1195560/posts


16 posted on 02/02/2008 11:33:46 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__________________Profile updated Wednesday, January 16, 2008)
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To: blam; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Last week I got Michael Palin's "Sahara" DVD set out of the library, and was occasionally amused, but mostly appalled at his butt-kissing of Polisario and the gov't of Algeria, among other things.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.

The quarterly FReepathon is underway.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology magazine · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Mirabilis · Texas AM Anthropology News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· History or Science & Nature Podcasts · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


17 posted on 02/02/2008 11:39:49 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__________________Profile updated Wednesday, January 16, 2008)
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To: knighthawk

Haven’t moslems been known to destroy antiquities? Statues of Buddha ring a bell, UN? Where was the outrage then?


18 posted on 02/03/2008 4:23:33 AM PST by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we write in marble. JHuett)
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To: knighthawk
The vandalism will reignite the debate about the conduct of UN peacekeepers after a series of scandals.

The majority of members of the UN are thugs and criminals, why should we expect anything different from the citizens in their military?

19 posted on 02/03/2008 5:56:54 AM PST by infidel29 (Santorum 2012..)
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To: knighthawk
"Many of the UN “graffiti artists” signed and dated their work, revealing their identities and where they are from. "

Really bright people they've got working for the UN. Maybe Al Qaeda would like to tap that group for suicide bombers.

20 posted on 02/03/2008 6:50:49 AM PST by mass55th
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To: blam
If Hillary's butt were made into a monument --
21 posted on 02/03/2008 10:01:33 AM PST by BenLurkin
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To: SunkenCiv

the u.n. needs to be

bitch slapped.


22 posted on 02/04/2008 6:23:22 AM PST by ken21 ( people die + you never hear from them again.)
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To: ken21

The UN needs to revise its charter so that so-called indigenous resistance movements are classified as illegal, criminal, terrorist groups. Polisario began as and remains an Algerian-operated terrorist group.


23 posted on 02/04/2008 10:39:10 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__________________Profile updated Wednesday, January 16, 2008)
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To: SunkenCiv

yeah.

thanks for bringing this to my attention.

i wasn’t aware of this.


24 posted on 02/05/2008 6:21:53 AM PST by ken21 ( people die + you never hear from them again.)
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