Saving Timbuktu’s Crumbling Culture: VICE News Capsule, January 29

The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Some 3,000 child soldiers to be freed in South Sudan, former Al-Shabaab intelligence chief says the Somali militant group is on the brink of total collapse, Shell to build $11 billion petrochemicals plant in southern Iraq, and Mali struggles to preserve ancient texts from Timbuktu.

SOUTH SUDAN
Child Soldiers To Be Released in Peace Deal
One militia group has freed hundreds of underage fighters, and the UN says a total of 3,000 will be allowed to return to civilian life in the coming weeks.

SOMALIA
Former Al-Shabaab Intelligence Chief Explains Defection
Zakariya Ismail Hersi says he surrendered to the government because of the group’s distorted interpretation of Islam and its disregard for human rights.

IRAQ
Shell to Invest Billions in Basra Petrochemical Plant
Government officials say the $11 billion complex will be the largest producer of petrochemicals in the Middle East.

MALI
Ongoing Efforts to Save 13th Century Manuscripts
A group of library custodians secretly transported thousands of documents after the city of Timbuktu was overran by Islamic militants two years ago. Now they face the threat of humidity, dust, and poor storage conditions.

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