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Country Mali



Mali

Land locked sub-Saharan nation of West Africa bordered by Algeria to the NE, Mauritania and Senegal to the W, Guinea and Burkina Faso to the S, and Niger to the E.

Mali’s history is linked with the great trans- Saharan trade route of slaves, salt, and gold that passed through its borders. The immensely lucrative trade gave rise to a succession of important medieval powers that dominated West Africa. The empires of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai wielded great power from the eighth to the 16th centuries, and the fabled Saharan cities of Timbuktu, Gao, and Djenne flourished as seats of learning and commerce.

Songhai was destroyed by invaders from Morocco in the late 16th century, and the country was fragmented into minor power centers led by local chieftains. During the 19th century France began to expand its colonial dominion into Mali and encountered fierce resistance. In 1898 French dominion became complete over the area, which was renamed the French Sudan. The colony languished as an impoverished agricultural territory under French rule until 1959, when French Sudan and Senegal joined together to form the Federation of Mali. This union collapsed in 1960, and French Sudan became the independent Republic of Mali. The new nation closely allied itself with China and attempted to develop a Maoist-influenced socialist state. In 1968 a military coup against strongman Modibo Keita took power with Lieutenant Moussa Traore as president and immediately had to contend with the ravages of the devastating sub-Saharan drought, which caused widespread starvation and death.

Keita died in prison in 1977, touching off a series of protests. In 1979, a new constitution led to elections and Traore was elected president. He was reelected in 1985, but removed in a coup in 1991, and replaced by Amadou Toumani Toure. In 1992, Alpha Oumar Konare of the Alliance for Democracy became Mali’s first president elected in free elections. In the mid-1990s there was conflict with the Tuareg people in the N of the country. Konare was reelected in 1997, but in 2002, Toure, the former interim military ruler, was elected president as an independent cand idate.

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Mali: Top Cities

Bamako 1,297,281 District de Bamako -8.00 x 12.65 Africa/Bamako
Sikasso 144,786 Region de Sikasso -5.67 x 11.31 Africa/Bamako
Mopti 108,456 Region de Mopti -4.19 x 14.49 Africa/Bamako
Koutiala 99,353 Region de Sikasso -5.46 x 12.39 Africa/Bamako
Kayes Ndi 97,464 Region de Kayes -11.44 x 14.46 Africa/Bamako
Segou 92,552 Region de Segou -6.22 x 13.43 Africa/Bamako
Gao 87,000 Region de Gao -0.04 x 16.27 Africa/Bamako
Kayes 78,406 Region de Kayes -11.43 x 14.44 Africa/Bamako
Markala 53,738 Region de Segou -6.07 x 13.70 Africa/Bamako
Kolokani 48,774 Region de Koulikoro -8.03 x 13.57 Africa/Bamako
Kati 42,922 Region de Koulikoro -8.07 x 12.74 Africa/Bamako
Bougouni 35,450 Region de Sikasso -7.48 x 11.42 Africa/Bamako
Tombouctou 32,460 Region de Tombouctou -3.01 x 16.77 Africa/Bamako
Banamba 30,591 Region de Koulikoro -7.45 x 13.55 Africa/Bamako
Bafoulabe 26,823 Region de Kayes -10.83 x 13.81 Africa/Bamako
San 24,811 Region de Segou -4.90 x 13.30 Africa/Bamako
Koulikoro 23,919 Region de Koulikoro -7.56 x 12.86 Africa/Bamako
Djenne 22,382 Region de Mopti -4.55 x 13.91 Africa/Bamako
Yorosso 17,447 Region de Sikasso -4.78 x 12.35 Africa/Bamako
Kangaba 17,232 -8.42 x 11.93 Africa/Bamako
Kidal 11,643 Region de Kidal 1.41 x 18.44 Africa/Bamako
Dire 10,943 -10.97 x 12.28 Africa/Bamako
Kolondieba 10,041 Region de Sikasso -6.89 x 11.09 Africa/Bamako
Ke-Macina 9,848 Region de Segou -5.36 x 13.96 Africa/Bamako
Menaka 9,110 Region de Gao 2.40 x 15.92 Africa/Bamako
Goundam 8,456 Region de Tombouctou -3.67 x 16.41 Africa/Bamako
Douentza 8,054 Region de Mopti -2.95 x 15.00 Africa/Bamako
Tenenkou 7,471 Region de Mopti -4.92 x 14.46 Africa/Bamako
Niafounke 6,901 Region de Tombouctou -3.99 x 15.93 Africa/Bamako
Band iagara 6,853 Region de Mopti -3.61 x 14.35 Africa/Bamako