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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 July 2006, 10:15 GMT 11:15 UK
Five new heritage sites in Africa
Harar (Unesco /Serge Santelli)
Caption: Harar in Ethiopia is among the newly listed heritage sites
Africa has gained five new World Heritage sites in the latest list published by the United Nations cultural organisation, Unesco.

The new African sites include rock art areas in Malawi and Tanzania, and Stone Circles in Senegal and Gambia.

The historic town of Harar Jugol in Ethiopia is also on the list, as is Aapravasi Ghat in Mauritius.

The five African sites are among eight new heritage sites declared by Unesco around the world.

Unesco describes the stone circles of Senegal and Gambia as "an extraordinary concentration of over 1,000 monuments in a band 100km wide along some 350km of the River Gambia".

The four groups, Sine Ngayene, Wanar, Wassu and Kerbatch, include 93 stone circles and numerous burial mounds, apparently dating to between the 3rd Century BC and 16th Century AD.

Rock art

Malawi's Chongoni rock art area features "the richest concentration of rock art in Central Africa," according to Unesco, while the Kondoa Rock Art Sites overlooking the Great Rift Valley in Tanzania include images of "high artistic value" dating back 2,000 years.

Harar Jugol, seen as the fourth holiest city of Islam, includes 82 mosques, three of which date from the 10th Century, and 102 shrines.

The city walls were built between the 13th and 16th Centuries.

Algeria's Tipasa archaeological site has been taken off a list of endangered sites thanks to conservation efforts.

Outside of Africa, new World Heritage Sites are the Sichuan giant panda sanctuaries in China, Colombia's Malpelo fauna and flora sanctuary, and Mexico's Tequila region, famous for the alcoholic brew of the same name.

Pandas gain world heritage status
12 Jul 06 |  Asia-Pacific

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