The country of Mali, where Timbuktu is located, gained independence and became the Republic of Mali in 1960. Timbuktu has changed quite a bit through the years since Halliburton’s visit. While storks can still be found and seen in Timbuktu, today the sight is not as extreme as Halliburton experienced. Many visitors to the area see no storks at all while they are there. The story of Halliburton “buying” slaves is probably not true. However, slavery was still practiced in parts of Mali into the 21st century.