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Mali (; ), officially the Republic of Mali (french: République du Mali; bm, ߡߊߟߌ ߞߊ ߝߊߛߏߖߊߡߊߣߊ, Mali ka Fasojamana, ff, 𞤈𞤫𞤲𞥆𞤣𞤢𞥄𞤲𞤣𞤭 𞤃𞤢𞥄𞤤𞤭, Renndaandi Maali, ar, جمهورية مالي), is a
landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an independent sovereign s ...
in
West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as well as .Paul R. Masson, Catherine Anne Pattillo, "Monetary union in West Africa (ECOWAS): is i ...

West Africa
. Mali is the eighth-largest country in
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of i ...

Africa
, with an area of over . The population of Mali is  million. 67% of its population was estimated to be under the age of 25 in 2017. Its
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...
and largest city is
Bamako Bamako ( bm, ߓߡߊ߬ߞߐ߬ ''Bàmakɔ̌'') is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ...

Bamako
. The
sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government ...
of Mali consists of eight regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the
Sahara Desert The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the . With an area of , it is the largest hot in the world and the third largest desert overall, smaller only than the deserts of and the northern . ...

Sahara Desert
. The country's southern part is in the Sudanian savanna, where the majority of inhabitants live, and both the
Niger ) , official_languages = French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primar ...

Niger
and
Senegal Senegal (; french: link=no, Sénégal; : ''Senegaal''; : السنغال ''As-Sinighal''), officially the Republic of Senegal (french: link=no, République du Sénégal; : ''Réewum Senegaal''; : جمهورية السنغال ''Jumhuriat As-Sin ...
rivers pass through. The country's economy centres on agriculture and mining. One of Mali's most prominent natural resources is gold, and the country is the third largest producer of
gold Gold is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numb ...

gold
on the African continent. It also exports
salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its natural form as a crystallinity, crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite. Sa ...

salt
. Present-day Mali was once part of three West African empires that controlled
trans-Saharan trade Trans-Saharan trade requires travel across the Sahara between sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically and ethnoculturally, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, i ...
: the
Ghana Empire The Ghana Empire ( 300 until 1100), properly known as Wagadou (''Ghana'' being the title of its ruler), was a West African empire located in the area of present-day southeastern Mauritania ) , image_map = Mauritania (orthographic projection ...
(for which
Ghana Ghana (), officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as well as .Paul R. ...

Ghana
is named), the
Mali Empire The Mali Empire (Manding languages, Manding: ''Mandé''Ki-Zerbo, Joseph: ''UNESCO General History of Africa, Vol. IV, Abridged Edition: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century'', p. 57. University of California Press, 1997. or Manden; ...
(for which Mali is named), and the
Songhai Empire The Songhai Empire (also transliterated as Songhay) was a state that dominated the western Sahel/Sudan in the 15th and 16th century. At its peak, it was one of the largest African empires, states in African history. The state is known by its hist ...
. At its peak in 1300, the Mali Empire covered an area about twice the size of modern-day
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
and stretched to the west coast of Africa. In the late 19th century, during the
Scramble for Africa The Scramble for Africa, also called the Partition of Africa, or the Conquest of Africa, was the invasion, occupation, division, and colonisation of Africa, colonization of most of Africa by seven Western Europe, Western European powers during a ...
, France seized control of Mali, making it a part of
French Sudan French Sudan (french: Soudan français; ar, السودان الفرنسي ') was a French colonial empires, French colonial territory in the Federation of French West Africa from around 1880 until 1959, when it joined the Mali Federation, and th ...

French Sudan
. French Sudan (then known as the Sudanese Republic) joined with
Senegal Senegal (; french: link=no, Sénégal; Wolof language, Wolof: ''Senegaal''; Arabic language, Arabic: السنغال ''As-Sinighal''), officially the Republic of Senegal (french: link=no, République du Sénégal; Wolof language, Wolof: ''Réew ...

Senegal
in 1959, achieving independence in 1960 as the
Mali Federation The Mali Federation (french: Fédération du Mali) was a federation in West Africa linking the French colonies of Senegal and the French Sudan, Sudanese Republic (or French Sudan) for two months in 1960. It was founded on 4 April 1959 as a territo ...
. Shortly thereafter, following Senegal's withdrawal from the federation, the Sudanese Republic declared itself the independent Republic of Mali. After a long period of one-party rule, a coup in 1991 led to the writing of a new constitution and the establishment of Mali as a democratic, multi-party state. In January 2012, an armed conflict broke out in northern Mali, in which
Tuareg rebels
Tuareg rebels
took control of a territory in the north, and in April declared the
secession Secession is the withdrawal of a group from a larger entity, especially a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, ...

secession
of a new state,
Azawad Azawad or Azawagh (: Azawaɣ or Azawad; ar, أزواد) is the name given to northern by rebels, as well as a former short-lived (2012-2013). Azawagh (''Azawaɣ'') is the generic Tuareg Berber name of all Tuareg Berber vast areas especi ...
. The conflict was complicated by a
military coup A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct ...
that took place in MarchUN Security Council condemns Mali coup
Telegraph (23 March 2012). Retrieved 24 March 2013.
and later fighting between Tuareg and other rebel factions. In response to territorial gains, the French military launched Opération Serval in January 2013. A month later, Malian and French forces recaptured most of the north.
Presidential elections President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese full- ...
were held on 28 July 2013, with a second-round run-off held on 11 August, and legislative elections were held on 24 November and 15 December 2013. In the early 2020s Mali experienced two military takeovers by
Assimi Goïta Colonel Assimi Goïta (born 1983) is a Malian Officer (armed forces), military officer and the leader of the , a military junta that seized power from former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in the 2020 Malian coup d'état. Biography Assimi ...
.


Etymology

The name ''Mali'' is taken from the name of the
Mali Empire The Mali Empire (Manding languages, Manding: ''Mandé''Ki-Zerbo, Joseph: ''UNESCO General History of Africa, Vol. IV, Abridged Edition: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century'', p. 57. University of California Press, 1997. or Manden; ...
. The name means "the place where the king lives" and carries a connotation of strength. Guinean writer Djibril Niane suggests in ''Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali'' (1965) that it is not impossible that Mali was the name given to one of the capitals of the emperors. 14th-century Moroccan traveler
Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta (; 24 February 13041368/1369); fully: ; Arabic: was a Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an e ...
reported that the capital of the Mali Empire was called Mali. One
MandinkaMandinka, Mandika, Mandinkha, Mandinko, or Mandingo may refer to: * Mandingo (film), ''Mandingo'' (film), a 1975 film based on the eponymous 1957 novel * Mandingo (novel), ''Mandingo'' (novel), a bestselling novel published in 1957 * ''Mandingo (pla ...
tradition tells that the legendary first emperor
Sundiata Keita Sundiata Keita (MandinkaMandinka, Mandika, Mandinkha, Mandinko, or Mandingo may refer to: * Mandingo (film), ''Mandingo'' (film), a 1975 film based on the eponymous 1957 novel * Mandingo (novel), ''Mandingo'' (novel), a bestselling novel publis ...
changed himself into a hippopotamus upon his death in the Sankarani River and that it's possible to find villages in the area of this river, termed "old Mali", which have Mali for a name. A study of Malian proverbs noted that in old Mali, there is a village called Malikoma, which means "New Mali", and that ''Mali'' could have formerly been the name of a city. Another theory suggests that ''Mali'' is a
Fulani The Fula, Fulani, or Fulɓe people ( ff, Fulɓe, ; french: Peul, links=no; ha, Fulani or Hilani; pt, Fula, links=no; wo, Pël; bm, Fulaw) are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Sahel The Sahel (; ar, ساحل ' , "coast, shore") is ...
pronunciation of the name of the
Mande peoplesMande may refer to: * Mandé peoples of western Africa * Mande languages * Manding languages, Manding, a term covering a subgroup of Mande peoples, and sometimes used for one of them, Mandinka people, Mandinka * Garo people of northeastern India and ...
. It is suggested that a sound shift led to the change, whereby in Fulani the alveolar segment shifts to and the terminal vowel denasalises and raises, leading "Manden" to shift to .


History

Rock paintings and carvings indicate that northern Mali has been inhabited since prehistoric times when the Sahara was fertile grassland. Farming took place by 5000 BC and iron was used around 500 BC. The Rock art in the
Sahara The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the African continent Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landma ...

Sahara
suggests that northern Mali has been inhabited since 10,000 BC, when the Sahara was fertile and rich in wildlife. Early ceramics have been discovered at the central Malian site of Ounjougou dating to about 9,400 BC, and are believed to represent an instance of the independent invention of pottery in the region. In the first millenium BC, early cities and towns were created by Mande peoples related to the
Soninke people The Soninke people are a West African Mande peoples, Mande-speaking ethnic group found in eastern Senegal and its capital Dakar, northwestern Mali and Fouta Djallon in Guinea, The Gambia and southern Mauritania. They speak the Soninke language, als ...
, along the middle Niger River in central Mali, including at Dia which began from around 900 BC, and reached its peak around 600 BC, and Djenne-Djenno, which lasted from by around 300 BC to 900 AD. By the 6th century AD, the lucrative trans-Saharan trade in gold, salt and slaves had begun, facilitating the rise of West Africa's great empires. There are a few references to Mali in early Islamic literature. Among these are references to "Pene" and "Malal" in the work of
al-Bakri Abū ʿUbayd ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn Muḥammad ibn Ayyūb ibn ʿAmr al-Bakrī ( ar, أبو عبيد عبد الله بن عبد العزيز بن محمد بن أيوب بن عمرو البكري), or simply al-Bakrī (c. 1040&nda ...

al-Bakri
in 1068, the story of the conversion of an early ruler, known to
Ibn Khaldun Ibn Khaldun (; ar, أبو زيد عبد الرحمن بن محمد بن خلدون الحضرمي, ; 27 May 1332 – 17 March 1406) was an Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, : , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ...
(by 1397) as Barmandana, and a few geographical details in the work of . Mali was once part of three famed West African empires which controlled
trans-Saharan trade Trans-Saharan trade requires travel across the Sahara between sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically and ethnoculturally, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, i ...
in gold, salt, other precious commodities, and
slaves Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property. Slavery typically involves the enslaved per ...
majorly during the reign of
Mansa Musa Musa I (c. 1280 – ), or Mansa Musa, was the tenth '' Mansa'' (a military title meaning "conqueror" or "emperor") of the Mali Empire The Mali Empire ( Manding: ''Nyeni'' or ''Niani''; also historically referred to as the Manden Kuruowca,. some ...

Mansa Musa
from c. 1312 – c. 1337. Mali country profile, p. 1. These Sahelian kingdoms had neither rigid geopolitical boundaries nor rigid ethnic identities. The earliest of these empires was the
Ghana Empire The Ghana Empire ( 300 until 1100), properly known as Wagadou (''Ghana'' being the title of its ruler), was a West African empire located in the area of present-day southeastern Mauritania ) , image_map = Mauritania (orthographic projection ...
, which was dominated by the Soninke, a -speaking people. The empire expanded throughout West Africa from the 8th century until 1078, when it was conquered by the
Almoravids The Almoravid dynasty ( ar, المرابطون, translit=Al-Murābiṭūn, lit=those from the ribats) was an imperial Berbers, Berber Muslim dynasty centered in Morocco. It established an empire in the 11th century that stretched over the west ...
. Mali country profile. Mali was later responsible for the collapse of Islamic Slave Army from the North. The defeat of Tukuror Slave Army, was repeated by Mali against the France and Spanish Expeditionary Army in the 1800s ("Blanc et memoires"). p. 2. The
Mali Empire The Mali Empire (Manding languages, Manding: ''Mandé''Ki-Zerbo, Joseph: ''UNESCO General History of Africa, Vol. IV, Abridged Edition: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century'', p. 57. University of California Press, 1997. or Manden; ...
later formed on the upper
Niger River The Niger River (; , ) is the main river of West Africa, extending about . Its drainage basin is in area. Its source is in the Guinea Highlands in southeastern Guinea near the Sierra Leone border. It runs in a crescent through Mali, Niger, ...

Niger River
, and reached the height of power in the 14th century. Under the Mali Empire, the ancient cities of
Djenné Djenné (Bambara language, Bambara: ߘߖߋߣߣߋ tr. Djenne; also known as Djénné, Jenné and Jenne) is a town and an Communes of Mali, urban commune in the Inland Niger Delta region of central Mali. The town is the administrative centre of the ...

Djenné
and
Timbuktu Timbuktu ( ; french: Tombouctou; tmh, label=Tuareg The Tuareg people (; also spelt Twareg or Touareg; endonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as autonym) is a common, internal name A name is a term used for id ...

Timbuktu
were centers of both trade and Islamic learning. The empire later declined as a result of internal intrigue, ultimately being supplanted by the
Songhai Empire The Songhai Empire (also transliterated as Songhay) was a state that dominated the western Sahel/Sudan in the 15th and 16th century. At its peak, it was one of the largest African empires, states in African history. The state is known by its hist ...
. The Songhai people originated in current northwestern
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
. The Songhai had long been a major power in West Africa subject to the Mali Empire's rule. In the late 14th century, the Songhai gradually gained independence from the Mali Empire and expanded, ultimately subsuming the entire eastern portion of the Mali Empire. The Songhai Empire's eventual collapse was largely the result of a Moroccan invasion in 1591, under the command of
Judar Pasha Judar Pasha ( ar, جؤذر باشا) was a Spanish-Moroccan military leader under the Saadi Sultanate, Saadian sultan Ahmad al-Mansur in the late 16th century. He led the Saadian army in the Saadian invasion of the Songhai Empire, conquest of the S ...
. The fall of the Songhai Empire marked the end of the region's role as a trading crossroads. Following the establishment of sea routes by the European powers, the trans-Saharan trade routes lost significance. One of the worst
famine A famine is a widespread scarcity of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual con ...

famine
s in the region's recorded history occurred in the 18th century. According to John Iliffe, "The worst crises were in the 1680s, when famine extended from the Senegambian coast to the Upper Nile and 'many sold themselves for slaves, only to get a sustenance', and especially in 1738–1756, when West Africa's greatest recorded subsistence crisis, due to drought and locusts, reportedly killed half the population of
Timbuktu Timbuktu ( ; french: Tombouctou; tmh, label=Tuareg The Tuareg people (; also spelt Twareg or Touareg; endonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as autonym) is a common, internal name A name is a term used for id ...

Timbuktu
."


French colonial rule

Mali fell under the control of France during the late 19th century. By 1905, most of the area was under firm French control as a part of
French Sudan French Sudan (french: Soudan français; ar, السودان الفرنسي ') was a French colonial empires, French colonial territory in the Federation of French West Africa from around 1880 until 1959, when it joined the Mali Federation, and th ...

French Sudan
. On 24 November 1958, French Sudan (which changed its name to the Sudanese Republic) became an autonomous republic within the
French Community The French Community (french: Communauté française) was an association of former French colonies, most of which in French Africa. In 1958 it replaced the French Union, which had itself succeeded the French colonial empire in 1946. The Commu ...
. In January 1959, Mali and
Senegal Senegal (; french: link=no, Sénégal; Wolof language, Wolof: ''Senegaal''; Arabic language, Arabic: السنغال ''As-Sinighal''), officially the Republic of Senegal (french: link=no, République du Sénégal; Wolof language, Wolof: ''Réew ...

Senegal
united to become the
Mali Federation The Mali Federation (french: Fédération du Mali) was a federation in West Africa linking the French colonies of Senegal and the French Sudan, Sudanese Republic (or French Sudan) for two months in 1960. It was founded on 4 April 1959 as a territo ...
. The Mali Federation gained independence from France on 20 June 1960. Senegal withdrew from the federation in August 1960, which allowed the Sudanese Republic to become the independent Republic of Mali on 22 September 1960, and that date is now the country's
Independence Day An independence day is an annual event commemorating the anniversary An anniversary is the date on which an event took place or an institution was founded in a previous year, and may also refer to the commemoration or celebration of that ...
. Modibo Keïta was elected the first president. Keïta quickly established a one-party state, adopted an independent African and socialist orientation with close ties to the East, and implemented extensive nationalization of economic resources. In 1960, the population of Mali was reported to be about 4.1 million.


Moussa Traoré

On 19 November 1968, following progressive economic decline, the Keïta regime was overthrown in a bloodless military coup led by
Moussa Traoré Moussa Traoré (25 September 1936 – 15 September 2020) was a Mali Mali (; ), officially the Republic of Mali (french: République du Mali; bm, ߡߊߟߌ ߞߊ ߝߊߛߏߖߊߡߊߣߊ, Mali ka Fasojamana, ff, 𞤈𞤫𞤲𞥆𞤣𞤢𞥄𞤲 ...

Moussa Traoré
, Mali country profile, p. 3. a day which is now commemorated as
Liberation Day Liberation Day is a day, often a public holiday, that marks the liberation of a place, similar to an independence day. Liberation marks the date of either a revolution, as in Cuba, the fall of an oppressive regime, as in Portugal, or the end of a ...
. The subsequent military-led regime, with Traoré as president, attempted to reform the economy. His efforts were frustrated by political turmoil and a devastating
drought A drought is an event of prolonged shortages in the water supply, whether atmospheric (below-average precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorolog ...
between 1968 and 1974, in which famine killed thousands of people. The Traoré regime faced student unrest beginning in the late 1970s and three coup attempts. The Traoré regime repressed all dissenters until the late 1980s. The government continued to attempt economic reforms, and the populace became increasingly dissatisfied. In response to growing demands for multi-party democracy, the Traoré regime allowed some limited political liberalization. They refused to usher in a full-fledged democratic system. In 1990, cohesive opposition movements began to emerge, and was complicated by the turbulent rise of ethnic violence in the north following the return of many
Tuaregs The Tuareg people (; also spelt Twareg or Touareg; endonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as autonym) is a common, internal name A name is a term used for identification by an external observer. They can identify ...
to Mali. Anti-government protests in 1991 led to a coup, a transitional government, and a new constitution. Opposition to the corrupt and dictatorial regime of General Moussa Traoré grew during the 1980s. During this time strict programs, imposed to satisfy demands of the International Monetary Fund, brought increased hardship upon the country's population, while elites close to the government supposedly lived in growing wealth. Peaceful student protests in January 1991 were brutally suppressed, with mass arrests and torture of leaders and participants. Mali March 1991 Revolution Scattered acts of rioting and vandalism of public buildings followed, but most actions by the dissidents remained nonviolent.


March Revolution

From 22 March through 26 March 1991, mass pro-democracy rallies and a nationwide strike was held in both urban and rural communities, which became known as ''les évenements'' ("the events") or the March Revolution. In Bamako, in response to mass demonstrations organized by university students and later joined by trade unionists and others, soldiers opened fire indiscriminately on the nonviolent demonstrators. Riots broke out briefly following the shootings. Barricades as well as roadblocks were erected and Traoré declared a state of emergency and imposed a nightly curfew. Despite an estimated loss of 300 lives over the course of four days, nonviolent protesters continued to return to Bamako each day demanding the resignation of the dictatorial president and the implementation of democratic policies. 26 March 1991 is the day that marks the clash between military soldiers and peaceful demonstrating students which climaxed in the massacre of dozens under the orders of then President Moussa Traoré. He and three associates were later tried and convicted and received the death sentence for their part in the decision-making of that day. Nowadays, the day is a national holiday in order to remember the tragic events and the people who were killed. The coup is remembered as Mali's March Revolution of 1991. By 26 March, the growing refusal of soldiers to fire into the largely nonviolent protesting crowds turned into a full-scale tumult, and resulted in thousands of soldiers putting down their arms and joining the pro-democracy movement. That afternoon, Lieutenant Colonel
Amadou Toumani Touré Amadou Toumani Touré (4 November 19489 November 2020) was a Mali Mali (; ), officially the Republic of Mali (french: République du Mali; bm, ߡߊߟߌ ߞߊ ߝߊߛߏߖߊߡߊߣߊ, Mali ka Fasojamana, ff, 𞤈𞤫𞤲𞥆𞤣𞤢𞥄𞤲𞤣 ...
announced on the radio that he had arrested the dictatorial president, Moussa Traoré. As a consequence, opposition parties were legalized and a national congress of civil and political groups met to draft a new democratic constitution to be approved by a national referendum.


Amadou Toumani Touré presidency

In 1992,
Alpha Oumar Konaré Alpha Oumar Konaré (born 2 February 1946) is a Malian politician, who served as President of Mali for two five-year terms from 1992 to 2002 and was Chairperson of the African Union Commission from 2003 to 2008. Scholarly career Alpha Oumar Kon ...

Alpha Oumar Konaré
won Mali's first democratic, multi-party presidential election, before being re-elected for a second term in 1997, which was the last allowed under the constitution. In 2002
Amadou Toumani Touré Amadou Toumani Touré (4 November 19489 November 2020) was a Mali Mali (; ), officially the Republic of Mali (french: République du Mali; bm, ߡߊߟߌ ߞߊ ߝߊߛߏߖߊߡߊߣߊ, Mali ka Fasojamana, ff, 𞤈𞤫𞤲𞥆𞤣𞤢𞥄𞤲𞤣 ...
, a retired general who had been the leader of the military aspect of the 1991 democratic uprising, was elected. Mali country profile, p. 4. During this democratic period Mali was regarded as one of the most politically and socially stable countries in Africa.
Slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property Property is a system of rights that give ...
persists in Mali today with as many as 200,000 people held in direct servitude to a master. In the Tuareg Rebellion of 2012, ex-slaves were a vulnerable population with reports of some slaves being recaptured by their former masters.


Northern Mali conflict

In January 2012 a Tuareg rebellion began in Northern Mali, led by the
National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, a shared territory. A nation is more overtly political than an ...

National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad
(MNLA). In March, military officer
Amadou Sanogo Amadou Haya Sanogo (born 1972 or 1973) is a Mali Mali (; ), officially the Republic of Mali (french: République du Mali; bm, ߡߊߟߌ ߞߊ ߝߊߛߏߖߊߡߊߣߊ, Mali ka Fasojamana, ff, 𞤈𞤫𞤲𞥆𞤣𞤢𞥄𞤲𞤣𞤭 𞤃𞤢𞥄 ...
seized power in a coup d'état, citing Touré's failures in quelling the rebellion, and leading to sanctions and an embargo by the
Economic Community of West African States The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS; also known as in French) is a regional political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled ...
. The MNLA quickly took control of the north, declaring independence as
Azawad Azawad or Azawagh (: Azawaɣ or Azawad; ar, أزواد) is the name given to northern by rebels, as well as a former short-lived (2012-2013). Azawagh (''Azawaɣ'') is the generic Tuareg Berber name of all Tuareg Berber vast areas especi ...
. However, Islamist groups including
Ansar Dine Ansar Dine ( ar, أنصار الدين ''ʾAnṣār ad-Dīn'', also transliterated ''Ançar Deen''; meaning "Ansar (Islam), helpers of the (Islamic) Dīn, religion") also known as Ansar al-Din (abbreviated as AAD) is a militant Islamist group l ...
and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), who had helped the MNLA defeat the government, turned on the Tuareg and took control of the North with the goal of implementing
sharia Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a religious law Religious law includes ethical Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action ...
in Mali. On 11 January 2013, the
French Armed Forces The French Armed Forces (french: Forces armées françaises) encompass the Army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on ...
intervened at the request of the interim government. On 30 January, the coordinated advance of the French and Malian troops claimed to have retaken the last remaining Islamist stronghold of Kidal, which was also the last of three northern provincial capitals. French troops retake the last remaining Islamist urban stronghold in Mali. On 2 February, the French President,
François Hollande François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande (; born 12 August 1954) is a French politician who served as president of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la République fran ...

François Hollande
, joined Mali's interim President, Dioncounda Traoré, in a public appearance in recently recaptured Timbuktu.


Conflict in Central Mali

In the central Mali province of
Mopti Mopti (Bambara language, Bambara: ߡߏߕߌ tr. Moti) is a town and an Communes of Mali, urban commune in the Inner Niger Delta region of Mali. The town is the capital of the Mopti Cercle and the Mopti Region. Situated 630 km northeast of Bama ...

Mopti
, conflict has escalated since 2015 between agricultural communities like the Dogon and the
Bambara Bambara or Bambarra may refer to: * Bambara people, an ethnic group, primarily in Mali ** Bambara language, their language, a Manding language ** Bamana Empire, a state that flourished in present-day Mali (1640s–1861) * Bambara (beetle), ''Bambara ...
, and the
pastoral A pastoral lifestyle is that of shepherds herd A herd is a social group of certain animals of the same species, either wildness, wild or Domestication, domestic. The form of collective animal behavior associated with this is called ''he ...
Fula (or Fulani) people. Historically, the two sides have fought over access to land and water, factors which have been exacerbated by
climate change Contemporary climate change includes both the global warming caused by humans, and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known even ...
as the Fula move into new areas. The Dogon and the Bambara communities have formed militias, or "self-defense groups", to fight the Fula. They accuse the Fula of working with armed
Islamists Islamism is a concept whose meaning has been debated in both public and academic contexts. The term can refer to diverse forms of social and political activism advocating that public and political life should be guided by Islamic principles or m ...

Islamists
linked to
al-Qaeda Al-Qaeda (; ar, القاعدة ', , translation: "The Base", "The Foundation", alternatively spelled al-Qaida and al-Qa'ida) is a militant Sunni Islamist multi-national terrorist organization founded in 1988. by Osama bin Laden, Abdullah ...
. While some Fula have joined Islamist groups,
Human Rights Watch Human Rights Watch (HRW) is an international non-governmental organization File:Europe in a suitcase - UK.jpg, upright=1.3, alt=A roomful of people, Europe-Georgia Institute head George Melashvili addresses the audience at the launch of the ...
reports that the links have been "exaggerated and instrumentalized by different actors for opportunistic ends". Added a top Mali military commander:
“I’ve discussed the growing violence with my commanders and with village chiefs from all sides. Yes, sure, there are jihadists in this zone, but the real problem is banditry, animal theft, score settling – people are enriching themselves using the fight against terrorists as a cover.”
The conflict has seen the creation and growth of Dogon and Bambara militias. The government of Mali is suspected of supporting some of these groups under the guise of they being proxies in the war against Islamists in the
Northern Mali conflict {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Mali War , partof = the Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002–present), Insurgency in the Maghreb and the War on terror , image = MaliWar.svg , image_size = 380 , cap ...

Northern Mali conflict
. The government denies this. One such militia is the Dogon group
Dan Na Ambassagou Dan Na Ambassagou (“hunters who trust in God,” in Dogon language) is an ethnic Dogon people, Dogon militia in Mali. The militia was setup in 2016 to defend Dogon communities against attacks, which has led to a number of conflicts with members o ...
, created in 2016.


2018 elections

Presidential elections were held in Mali on 29 July 2018. In July 2018, the
Constitutional Court A constitutional court is a high court High court usually refers to the superior court In common law systems, a superior court is a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Ad ...
approved the nomination of a total of 24 candidates in the election. As no candidate received more than 50% of the vote in the first round, a runoff was held on 12 August 2018 between the top two candidates, incumbent President of the
Rally for Mali Rally or rallye may refer to: Gatherings * Demonstration (political), a political rally, a political demonstration of support or protest, march, or parade * Pep rally, an event held at a United States school or college sporting event Sports ...
and Soumaïla Cissé of the Union for the Republic and Democracy. Keïta was subsequently re-elected with 67% of the vote.


2018 ceasefire and aftermath

In September 2018, the
Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, otherwise known as the Henry Dunant Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, or HD, is a private diplomacy organisation based in Switzerland that assists in mediation between conflicting parties to prevent or end armed ...
negotiated a unilateral ceasefire with Dan Na Ambassagou "in the context of the conflict which opposes the group to other community armed groups in central Mali". However, the group has been blamed for the 24 March 2019 massacre of 160 Fula villagers. The group denied the attack, but afterwards Malian President Keita ordered the group to disband. The UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide,
Adama Dieng Adama Dieng (born 22 May 1950, Senegal Senegal (; french: link=no, Sénégal; Wolof language, Wolof: ''Senegaal''), officially the Republic of Senegal (french: link=no, République du Sénégal; Wolof language, Wolof: ''Réewum Senegaal''), i ...
, warned of a growing ethnicization of the conflict. The United Nations reported that the number of children killed in the conflict in the first six months of 2019 was twice as many for the entire year of 2018. Many of the children have been killed in intercommunal attacks attributed to ethnic militias, with the majority of attacks occurring around Mopti. It is reported that around 900 schools have closed down and that armed militias are recruiting children. During the first week of October 2019, two jihadist attacks in the towns of Boulikessi and Mondoro killed more than 25 Mali soldiers near the border with Burkina Faso. President Keïta declared that "no military coup will prevail in Mali", continuing by saying that he doesn't think it "is on the agenda at all and cannot worry us".


2020 Coup d'état and aftermath

Popular unrest began on 5 June 2020 following irregularities in the March and April parliamentary elections, including outrage against the kidnapping of opposition leader Soumaila Cissé. Between 11 and 23 deaths followed protests that took place from 10 to 13 June. In July, President Keïta dissolved the constitutional court. Members of the military led by Colonel
Assimi Goïta Colonel Assimi Goïta (born 1983) is a Malian Officer (armed forces), military officer and the leader of the , a military junta that seized power from former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in the 2020 Malian coup d'état. Biography Assimi ...
and Colonel-Major Ismaël Wagué in Kati, Mali, Kati, Koulikoro Region began a mutiny on 18 August 2020. President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, and Prime Minister Boubou Cissé were arrested, and shortly after midnight Keïta announced his resignation, saying he did not want to see any bloodshed. Wagué announced the formation of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) and promised elections in the future. A curfew was begun and the streets of Bamako were quiet. The
Economic Community of West African States The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS; also known as in French) is a regional political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled ...
(ECOWAS) condemned the coup and demanded the reinstallation of President Keïta. On 12 September 2020, the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) agreed to an 18-month political transition to civilian rule. Shortly after, Bah Ndaw, Bah N'daw was named interim president by a group of 17 electors, with Goïta being appointed vice president. The government was inaugurated on 25 September 2020. On 18 January 2021, the transitional government announced that the CNSP had been disbanded, almost four months after had been promised under the initial agreement.


2021 Coup d'état

Tensions have been high between the civilian transitional government and the military since the handover of power in September. On 24 May, tensions came to a head after a cabinet reshuffle, where two leaders of the 2020 military coup – Sadio Camara and Modibo Kone – were replaced by N'daw's administration. Later that day, journalists reported that three key civilian leaders – President N'daw, Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and Defence Minister Souleymane Doucouré, were being detained in a military base in Kati, Mali, Kati, outside Bamako.


Geography

Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa, located southwest of Algeria. It lies between latitudes 10th parallel north, 10° and 25th parallel north, 25°N, and longitudes 13th meridian west, 13°W and 5th meridian east, 5°E. Mali borders Algeria to Algeria–Mali border, the north-northeast, Niger to Mali–Niger border, the east, Burkina Faso to Burkina Faso–Mali border, the south-east, Ivory Coast to Ivory Coast–Mali border, the south, Guinea to Guinea–Mali border, the south-west, and
Senegal Senegal (; french: link=no, Sénégal; Wolof language, Wolof: ''Senegaal''; Arabic language, Arabic: السنغال ''As-Sinighal''), officially the Republic of Senegal (french: link=no, République du Sénégal; Wolof language, Wolof: ''Réew ...

Senegal
to Mali–Senegal border, the west and Mauritania to Mali–Mauritania border, the north-west. At , Mali is the world's List of countries and outlying territories by total area, 24th-largest country and is comparable in size to South Africa or Angola. Most of the country lies in the southern Sahara Desert, which produces an extremely hot, dust-laden Sudan (region), Sudanian savanna zone. Mali country profile, p. 5. Mali is mostly flat, rising to rolling northern plains covered by sand. The Adrar des Ifoghas massif lies in the northeast. Mali lies in the Geographical zone#Torrid Zone, torrid zone and is among the hottest countries in the world. The thermal equator, which matches the hottest spots year-round on the planet based on the mean daily annual temperature, crosses the country. Most of Mali receives negligible rainfall and droughts are very frequent. Late April to early October is the rainy season in the southernmost area. During this time, flooding of the Niger River is common, creating the Inner Niger Delta. The vast northern desert part of Mali has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification ''BWh'') with long, extremely hot summers and scarce rainfall which decreases northwards. The central area has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification ''BSh'') with very high temperatures year-round, a long, intense dry season and a brief, irregular rainy season. The southern areas have a tropical wet and dry climate. (Köppen climate classification ''Aw'') In review, Mali's climate is tropical, with March to May being the hot, dry season. June to October is rainy, humid and mild. November to February is the cool, dry season. Mali has considerable natural resources, with gold, uranium, phosphates, kaolinite, salt and limestone being most widely exploited. Mali is estimated to have in excess of 17,400 tonnes of uranium (measured + indicated + inferred). In 2012, a further uranium mineralized north zone was identified. Mali faces numerous environmental challenges, including desertification, deforestation, soil erosion, and inadequate Water supply, supplies of potable water. Five terrestrial ecoregions lie within Mali's borders: Sahelian Acacia savanna, West Sudanian savanna, Inner Niger Delta flooded savanna, South Saharan steppe and woodlands, and West Saharan montane xeric woodlands. The country had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 7.16/10, ranking it 51st globally out of 172 countries.


Regions and cercles

Since 2016, Mali has been divided into ten regions and the District of Bamako. Each region has a governor.#DiPiazza, DiPiazza, p. 37. The implementation of the two newest regions, Taoudénit (formerly part of Tombouctou Region) and Ménaka (formerly Ménaka Cercle in Gao Region), has been ongoing since January 2016; a governor and transitional council has been appointed for both regions. The ten regions in turn are subdivided into 56 Cercle (Mali), ''cercle''s and 703 Communes of Mali, ''communes''. The Regions of Mali, ''régions'' and Capital District are:


Extent of central government control

In March 2012, the Malian government lost control over Tombouctou, Gao and Kidal Regions and the north-eastern portion of Mopti Region. On 6 April 2012, the
National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, a shared territory. A nation is more overtly political than an ...

National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad
unilaterally declared their secession from Mali as
Azawad Azawad or Azawagh (: Azawaɣ or Azawad; ar, أزواد) is the name given to northern by rebels, as well as a former short-lived (2012-2013). Azawagh (''Azawaɣ'') is the generic Tuareg Berber name of all Tuareg Berber vast areas especi ...
, an act that neither Mali nor the international community diplomatic recognition, recognised. The government later regained control over these areas.


Politics and government


Government

Until the military coup of 22 March 2012 and a second military coup in December 2012, Mali was a constitutional democracy governed by the Constitution of 12 January 1992, which was amended in 1999. The constitution provides for a separation of powers among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. Mali country profile, p. 14. The system of government can be described as "semi-presidential". Executive power is vested in a president, who is elected to a five-year term by universal suffrage and is limited to two terms. The president serves as a chief of state and commander in chief of the armed forces. A prime minister appointed by the president serves as head of government and in turn appoints the Council of Ministers. The unicameral National Assembly is Mali's sole legislative body, consisting of deputies elected to five-year terms. Mali country profile, p. 15. Following the 2007 elections, the Alliance for Democracy and Progress (Mali), Alliance for Democracy and Progress held 113 of 160 seats in the assembly. The assembly holds two regular sessions each year, during which it debates and votes on legislation that has been submitted by a member or by the government. Mali's constitution provides for an independent judiciary, but the executive continues to exercise influence over the judiciary by virtue of power to appoint judges and oversee both judicial functions and law enforcement. Mali's highest courts are the Supreme Court, which has both judicial and administrative powers, and a separate Constitutional Court that provides judicial review of legislative acts and serves as an election arbiter. Various lower courts exist, though village chiefs and elders resolve most local disputes in rural areas.


Foreign relations

Mali's foreign policy orientation has become increasingly pragmatic and pro-Western over time. Mali country profile, p. 17. Since the institution of a democratic form of government in 2002, Mali's relations with the West in general and Mali-United States relations, with the United States in particular have improved significantly. Mali has a longstanding yet ambivalent relationship with France, a French Sudan, former colonial ruler. Mali was active in regional organizations such as the African Union until its suspension over the 2012 Malian coup d'état. Working to control and resolve regional conflicts, such as in Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, is one of Mali's major foreign policy goals. Mali feels threatened by the potential for the spillover of conflicts in neighboring states, and relations with those neighbors are often uneasy. General insecurity along borders in the north, including cross-border banditry and terrorism, remain troubling issues in regional relations. In early 2019, Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for an attack on a United Nations base in Mali that killed 10 peacekeepers from Chad. 25 people were reported to have been injured in the attack. Al Qaeda's stated reason for the attack was Chad's re-establishing diplomatic ties with Israel. The base was attacked in Anguelhok, a village located in an especially unstable region of the country.


Military

Military of Mali, Mali's military forces consist of an army, which includes land forces and air force, as well as the paramilitary Gendarmerie and Republican Guard, all of which are under the control of Mali's Ministry of Defense and Veterans, civilian control of the military, headed by a civilian.


Economy

The Central Bank of West African States handles the financial affairs of Mali and additional members of the
Economic Community of West African States The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS; also known as in French) is a regional political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled ...
. Mali is considered one of the poorest countries in the world. The average worker's annual salary is approximately US$1,500. Mali underwent economic reform, beginning in 1988 by signing agreements with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. During 1988 to 1996, Mali's government largely reformed public enterprises. Since the agreement, sixteen enterprises were privatized, 12 partially privatized, and 20 liquidated. In 2005, the Malian government conceded a railroad company to the Savage Corporation. Two major companies, Societé de Telecommunications du Mali (SOTELMA) and the Cotton Ginning Company (Compagnie malienne pour le développement du textile, CMDT), were expected to be privatized in 2008. Between 1992 and 1995, Mali implemented an economic adjustment programme that resulted in economic growth and a reduction in financial imbalances. The programme increased social and economic conditions, and led to Mali joining the World Trade Organization on 31 May 1995. Mali is also a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA). The gross domestic product (GDP) has risen since. In 2002, the GDP amounted to US$3.4 billion, Mali country profile, p. 9. and increased to US$5.8 billion in 2005, which amounts to an approximately 17.6% annual growth rate. Mali is a part of the "Franc Zone" (''Zone Franc''), which means that it uses the CFA franc. Mali is connected with the French government by agreement since 1962 (creation of BCEAO). Today all seven countries of BCEAO (including Mali) are connected to French Central Bank.


Agriculture

Mali's key industry is agriculture. Cotton is the country's largest crop export and is exported west throughout Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire. During 2002, 620,000 tons of cotton were produced in Mali but cotton prices declined significantly in 2003. In addition to cotton, Mali produces rice, millet, Maize, corn, vegetables, tobacco, and tree crops. Gold, livestock and agriculture amount to 80% of Mali's exports. Eighty percent of Malian workers are employed in agriculture. 15% of Malian workers are employed in the service sector. Seasonal variations lead to regular temporary employment, temporary unemployment of agricultural workers.


Mining

In 1991, with the assistance of the International Development Association, Mali relaxed the enforcement of mining codes which led to renewed foreign interest and investment in the mining industry. Gold is mined in the southern region and Mali has the third highest gold production in Africa (after South Africa and
Ghana Ghana (), officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as well as .Paul R. ...

Ghana
). The emergence of gold as Mali's leading export product since 1999 has helped mitigate some of the negative impact of the cotton and Ivory Coast crises. Other natural resources include kaolin, salt, phosphate, and limestone.


Energy

Electricity and water are maintained by the Energie du Mali, or EDM, and textiles are generated by Industry Textile du Mali, or ITEMA. Mali has made efficient use of hydroelectricity, consisting of over half of Mali's electrical power. In 2002, 700 KWh#Multiples, GWh of hydroelectric power were produced in Mali. Energie du Mali is an electric company that provides electricity to Mali citizens. Only 55% of the population in cities have access to EDM.


Transport infrastructure

In Mali, there is a railway that connects to bordering countries. There are also approximately 29 airports of which 8 have paved runways. Urban areas are known for their large quantity of green and white taxicabs. A significant sum of the population is dependent on public transportation.


Society


Demographics

In , Mali's population was an estimated  million. The population is predominantly rural (68% in 2002), and 5%–10% of Malians are nomadic. Mali country profile, p. 6. More than 90% of the population lives in the southern part of the country, especially in
Bamako Bamako ( bm, ߓߡߊ߬ߞߐ߬ ''Bàmakɔ̌'') is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ...

Bamako
, which has over 1 million residents. In 2007, about 48% of Malians were younger than 12 years old, 49% were 15–64 years old, and 3% were 65 and older. The median age was 15.9 years. The birth rate in 2014 is 45.53 births per 1,000, and the total fertility rate (in 2012) was 6.4 children per woman. The death rate in 2007 was 16.5 deaths per 1,000. Life expectancy at birth was 53.06 years total (51.43 for males and 54.73 for females). Mali has one of the List of countries by infant mortality rate, world's highest rates of infant mortality, with 106 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2007.


Largest cities in Mali


Ethnic groups

Mali's population encompasses a number of sub-Saharan ethnic groups. The
Bambara Bambara or Bambarra may refer to: * Bambara people, an ethnic group, primarily in Mali ** Bambara language, their language, a Manding language ** Bamana Empire, a state that flourished in present-day Mali (1640s–1861) * Bambara (beetle), ''Bambara ...
( bm, Bamanankaw) are by far the largest single ethnic group, making up 36.5% of the population. Collectively, the Bambara, Soninke people, Soninké, Khassonké, and Mandinka people, Malinké (also called Mandinka language, Mandinka), all part of the broader Mandé group, constitute 50% of Mali's population. Other significant groups are the Fula people, Fula (french: link=no, Peul; ff, Fulɓe) (17%), Gur languages, Voltaic (12%), Songhai people, Songhai (6%), and Tuareg people, Tuareg and Moors, Moor (10%). In Mali as well as Niger, the Moors are also known as Azawagh Arabs, named after the Azawagh region of the
Sahara The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the African continent Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landma ...

Sahara
. They speak mainly Hassaniya Arabic which is one of the regional varieties of Arabic. Personal names reflect Mali's complex regional identities. In the far north, there is a division between Berber people, Berber-descended Tuareg people, Tuareg nomad populations and the darker-skinned Bella or Tamasheq people, due to the historical spread of Slavery in Mali, slavery in the region. An estimated 800,000 people in Mali are descended from slavery, slaves. Slavery in Mali has persisted for centuries. The Arabic population kept slaves well into the 20th century, until slavery was suppressed by French Sudan, French authorities around the mid-20th century. There still persist certain hereditary servitude relationships, and according to some estimates, even today approximately 200,000 Malians are still enslaved. Mixed European/African descendants of Muslims of Spanish people, Spanish, as well some French, Irish, Italian and Portuguese origins live in Mali, they are known as the Arma people (1% of the nation's population). Although Mali has enjoyed a reasonably good inter-ethnic relationships based on the long history of coexistence, some hereditary servitude and bondage relationship exist, as well as ethnic tension between settled Songhai people, Songhai and nomadic Tuaregs of the north. Due to a backlash against the northern population after independence, Mali is now in a situation where both groups complain about discrimination on the part of the other group. This conflict also plays a role in the continuing Northern Mali conflict (2012–present), Northern Mali conflict where there is a tension between both Tuaregs and the Malian government, and the Tuaregs and radical Islamists who are trying to establish sharia law.


Languages

Mali's official language is French language, French and over 40 African languages also are spoken by the various ethnic groups. About 80% of Mali's population can communicate in Bambara language, Bambara, which serves as an important ''lingua franca''. According to the 2009 census, the languages spoken in Mali were Bambara language, Bambara by 51.5%, Fula language, Fula by 8.3%, Dogon language, Dogon by 6.6% Soninké language, Soninké by 5.7%, Songhai language, Songhai by 5.3%, Malinké language, Malinké by 5.2%, Minianka language, Minianka by 3.8%, Tamasheq language, Tamasheq by 3.2%, Sénoufo language, Sénoufo by 2%, Bobo language, Bobo by 1.9%, Bozo language, Tieyaxo Bozo by 1.6%, Kassonké language, Kassonké by 1.1%, Maure language, Maure by 1%, Dafing language, Dafing by 0.4%, Samogo language, Samogo by 0.4%, Arabic by 0.3%, other Languages of Mali, Malian languages by 0.5%, other African languages by 0.2%, Foreign languages by 0.2%, and 0.7% didn't declare their language. Mali has 12 national languages beside French language, French and Bambara language, Bambara, namely Bomu language, Bomu, Bozo language, Tieyaxo Bozo, Escarpment Dogon, Toro So Dogon, Maasina Fulfulde, Hassaniya Arabic, Minyanka language, Mamara Senoufo, Kita Maninka language, Kita Maninkakan, Soninke language, Soninke, Koyraboro Senni, Senara language, Syenara Senoufo, Tamasheq language, Tamasheq and Kassonke language, Xaasongaxango. Each is spoken as a first language primarily by the ethnic group with which it is associated.


Religion

Islam was introduced to West Africa in the 11th century and remains the predominant religion in much of the region. An estimated 90% of Malians are Islam in Mali, Muslim (mostly Sunni), approximately 5% are Christian (about two-thirds Roman Catholicism in Mali, Roman Catholic and one-third Protestantism, Protestant) and the remaining 5% adhere to traditional African religions such as the Dogon religion.International Religious Freedom Report 2008: Mali
State.gov (19 September 2008). Retrieved 4 May 2012.
Atheism and agnosticism are believed to be rare among Malians, most of whom practice their religion daily. The constitution establishes a secular state and provides for freedom of religion, and the government largely respects this right. Islam as historically practiced in Mali has been malleable and adapted to local conditions; relations between Muslims and practitioners of minority religious faiths have generally been amicable. After the 2012 imposition of
sharia Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a religious law Religious law includes ethical Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action ...
rule in northern parts of the country, however, Mali came to be listed high (number 7) in the Christian persecution index published by Open Doors, which described the persecution in the north as severe.Report points to 100 million persecuted Christians.
Retrieved 10 January 2013.
OPEN DOORS World Watch list 2012
Worldwatchlist.us. Retrieved 24 March 2013.


Education

Public education in Mali is in principle provided free of charge and is compulsory for nine years between the ages of seven and sixteen. The system encompasses six years of primary education beginning at age 7, followed by six years of secondary education. Mali's actual primary school enrollment rate is low, in large part because families are unable to cover the cost of uniforms, books, supplies, and other fees required to attend. In 2017, the primary school enrollment rate was 61% (65% of males and 58% of females). In the late 1990s, the secondary school enrollment rate was 15% (20% of males and 10% of females). The education system is plagued by a lack of schools in rural areas, as well as shortages of teachers and materials. Estimates of literacy rates in Mali range from 27–30 to 46.4%, with literacy rates significantly lower among women than men. The University of Bamako, which includes four constituent universities, is the largest university in the country and enrolls approximately 60,000 undergraduate and graduate students.


Health

Mali faces numerous health challenges related to poverty, malnutrition, and inadequate hygiene and sanitation. Mali country profile, p. 7. Mali's health and development indicators rank among the worst in the world. Life expectancy at birth is estimated to be 53.06 years in 2012. In 2000, 62–65% of the population was estimated to have access to safe drinking water and only 69% to sanitation services of some kind. In 2001, the general government expenditures on health totaled about US$4 per capita at an average exchange rate. Mali country profile, p. 8. Efforts have been made to improve nutrition, and reduce associated health problems, by encouraging women to make nutritious versions of local recipes. For example, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Aga Khan Foundation, trained women's groups to make ''equinut'', a healthy and nutritional version of the traditional recipe ''di-dèguè'' (comprising peanut paste, honey and millet or rice flour). The aim was to boost nutrition and livelihoods by producing a product that women could make and sell, and which would be accepted by the local community because of its local heritage. Medical facilities in Mali are very limited, and medicines are in short supply. Malaria and other arthropod-borne diseases are prevalent in Mali, as are a number of infectious diseases such as cholera and tuberculosis. Mali's population also suffers from a high rate of child malnutrition and a low rate of immunization. An estimated 1.9% of the adult and children population was afflicted with HIV/AIDS that year, among the lowest rates in Sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated 85%–91% of Mali's girls and women have had female genital mutilation (2006 and 2001 data).


Gender equality

In 2017, Mali ranked 157th out of 160 countries in the gender inequality index as reported by the United Nations Development Programme. The Malian Constitution states that it protects women's rights, however many laws exist that discriminate against women. Provisions in the laws limit women's decision-making power after marriage, in which the husband becomes superior to his wife. Women are blamed for not maintaining the appearance of their husbands and are also blamed for the actions of their children if they misbehave, which encourages the cultural attitude that women are inferior to men. The lack of participation of women in politics is due to the idea that politics is associated with men and that women should avoid this sector. Education is also an area in which boys dominate, since it is a better investment for the parents. As traditional values and practices have contributed to gender inequality in Mali, conflict and lawlessness have also influenced the growing gap in gender through gender-based violence. The unstable government of Mali has led to organizations like USAID attempting to improve the lives of the people, mainly women and girls' rights in order to re-engage the development of the country.


Gender relations

Religion, the patriarchal norms, and gender-based violence are major negative factors shaping the life of women in Mali. Patriarchal norms cause major gender inequalities and lead to male domination within the household. The majority of the population is Muslim which reinforces patriarchal norms. Girls learn household activities like chores, cooking, childcare, etc. at a young age and are expected to take the main responsibility of household chores throughout their life. This hampers women's ability to enter the formal workforce and leads to a lack of education of girls. Gender-based violence in Mali happens both on a national a family level. At the national level, in 2012 the conflict in the Northern part of the country increased cases of kidnappings and rapes. The conflict also reduced women's access to resources, economy, and opportunities. At the household level, Malian women face gender-based violence through domestic violence, forced marriages, and marital rape. The Demographic Health Survey for Mali in 2013 stated that 76% of women and 54% of men believed physical harm towards women was acceptable if the women burnt food, argued back, went out without notifying her husband, or refused sexual relations with her husband.


Area of opportunity

The lack of education has increased gender inequality in Mali because not many women are working outside the household are even participating in the Public Administration sector. After adjusting the entrance requirements and access to education, girls still have lower enrollment rates and less access to formal education. Drop-out rates for girls are 15% higher than that of boys because they have a higher responsibility at home and most parents refuse to allow all their children to go to school, so boys tend to become educated. Similarly, technical and vocational education has a lower numbers of girls participating and are inadequately distributed in the country because the training centers are focused in the urban cities. Finally, higher education for girls consist of short programs because early marriages prevent most girls from pursuing a longer term education program like those in science. Although women do not have the same access of education, in recent decades women have been entering and representing in decision-making positions in the Public Administration sector. Members of Parliament, 15 were women in 2010 out of 147 members. Recent decades show that women are slowly joining important decision-making positions which is changing the attitude and status of women in Mali, which has led to the promotion of women's right in the political sphere.


Efforts

Legislation at the international and national levels have been implemented over the decades to help promote women's rights in Mali. At the international, Mali signed the Beijing Platform for Action which suggest that women should participate in decision-making and the convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women which is the foundation to women's rights promotion. At the national level, Mali's Constitution has the Decree No. 092-073P-CTSP that claims equality to all Malian citizens and discrimination is prohibited, which has not been followed. The Poverty Reduction Strategy Programme (PRSP) and the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Programme under the Malian Government seek to improve the well-being of the citizens, and changes to governance and gender in the country. The Ministry for Advancement of Women, Children and the Family was created specifically for women and children so that their basics rights and needs get met under the law. Although there exists legislation and policy for gender equality the institutionalization of the National Gender Policy of Mali is necessary to support the importance of women's rights. Strengthening and the support of girls' and women's access to education and training is recommended to improve gender equality in Mali. The involvement of international organizations like USAID assist Mali financially to enhance their development through the efforts of the improvement of women's rights.


Culture

The varied everyday culture of Malians reflects the country's ethnic and geographic diversity.Pye-Smith, Charlie & Rhéal Drisdelle. ''Mali: A Prospect of Peace?'' Oxfam (1997). , p. 13. Most Malians wear flowing, colorful robes called boubou (clothing), boubous that are typical of West Africa. Malians frequently participate in traditional festivals, dances, and ceremonies.


Music

Music of Mali, Malian musical traditions are derived from the griots, who are known as "Keepers of Memories". Malian music is diverse and has several different genres. Some famous Malian influences in music are kora (instrument), kora virtuoso musician Toumani Diabaté, the Ngoni (instrument), ngoni with Bassekou Kouyate the virtuoso of the electric Ngoni (instrument), jeli ngoni, the late roots and blues guitarist Ali Farka Touré, the Tuareg people, Tuareg band Tinariwen, Khaira Arby, and several Afro pop music, Afro-pop artists such as Salif Keita, the duo Amadou et Mariam, Oumou Sangare, Fatoumata Diawara, Rokia Traore, and Habib Koité. Dance also plays a large role in Malian culture. Dance parties are common events among friends, and traditional mask dances are performed at ceremonial events.


Literature

Though Mali's literature is less famous than its music,#Velton, Velton, p. 29. Mali has always been one of Africa's liveliest intellectual centers. Mali's literary tradition is passed mainly by word of mouth, with ''jalis'' reciting or singing histories and stories known by heart.#Milet, Milet, p. 128.#Velton, Velton, p. 28. Amadou Hampâté Bâ, Mali's best-known historian, spent much of his life writing these oral traditions down for the world to remember. The best-known novel by a Malian writer is Yambo Ouologuem's ''Le devoir de violence'', which won the 1968 Prix Renaudot but whose legacy was marred by accusations of plagiarism. Other well-known Malian writers include Baba Traoré, Modibo Sounkalo Keita, Massa Makan Diabaté, Moussa Konaté, and Fily Dabo Sissoko.


Sport

The Football in Mali, most popular sport in Mali is association football,#Milet, Milet, p. 151.#DiPiazza, DiPiazza, p. 55. which became more prominent after Mali hosted the 2002 African Cup of Nations.Hudgens, Jim, Richard Trillo, and Nathalie Calonnec. ''The Rough Guide to West Africa''. Rough Guides (2003). , p. 320. Most towns and cities have regular games; the most popular teams nationally are Djoliba AC, Stade Malien, and Real Bamako, all based in the capital. Informal games are often played by youths using a bundle of rags as a ball. Basketball is another major sport; the Mali women's national basketball team, led by Hamchetou Maiga, competed at the 2008 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing Olympics. Lutte Traditionnelle, Traditional wrestling (''la lutte'') is also somewhat common, though popularity has declined in recent years. The game Oware, wari, a mancala variant, is a common pastime. Mali featured a men's national team in beach volleyball that competed at the 2018–2020 CAVB Beach Volleyball Continental Cup.


Cuisine

Rice and millet are the staples of Malian cuisine, which is heavily based on cereal grains.#Velton, Velton, p. 30. Grains are generally prepared with sauces made from edible leaves, such as spinach or Adansonia digitata, baobab, with tomato peanut sauce, and may be accompanied by pieces of grilled meat (typically chicken, mutton, beef, or goat).#Milet, Milet, p. 146. Malian cuisine varies regionally. Other popular dishes include fufu, jollof rice, and maafe.


Media

In Mali, there are several newspapers such as ''Les Échos (Mali), Les Echos'', ''L'Essor'', ''Info Matin'', ''Nouvel Horizon (Mali), Nouvel Horizon'', and '. Telecommunications in Mali include 869,600 mobile phones, 45,000 televisions and 414,985 Internet users.


See also

* Index of Mali-related articles * Outline of Mali


References


Bibliography

* A student-translate
English version
is also available. * * ''This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.'' * *


External links


Official website
* *
Mali
''The World Factbook''. Central Intelligence Agency.
Mali
from ''UCB Libraries GovPubs'' *
Mali profile
from the BBC News
Possibilities and Challenges for Transitional Justice in Mali
from the ICTJ
Facebook group about Ngoni
considered a traditional instrument of Mali; also known as Xalam, Jeli N'goni, Hoddu, Khalam, Tehardent, or Gambare.


Trade


Mali 2012 Trade Summary Statistics
{{Authority control Mali, 1960 establishments in Africa Countries in Africa Former French colonies French-speaking countries and territories Landlocked countries Least developed countries Member states of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie Member states of the African Union Member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Member states of the United Nations Republics Saharan countries States and territories established in 1960 West African countries