Mali History

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History[edit | edit source]

Present-day Mali was once part of three West African empires that controlled trans-Saharan trade: the Ghana Empire, the Mali Empire, and the Songhai Empire. At its peak in 1300, the Mali Empire covered an area about twice the size of modern-day France and stretched to the west coast of Africa.

In the late 19th century, France seized control of Mali, making it a part of French Sudan. French Sudan joined with Senegal in 1959, achieving independence in 1960 as the Mali Federation. Shortly thereafter, following Senegal's withdrawal from the federation, the Sudanese Republic declared itself the independent Republic of Mali. A coup in 1991 led to the writing of a new constitution and the establishment of Mali as a democratic, multi-party state.

It is believed that up to 200,000 people are displaced in Mali.These are people who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border.

In January 2012, an armed conflict broke out in northern Mali, in which Tuareg rebels took control of a territory in the north, and in April declared the secession of a new state, Azawad. The conflict was complicated by a military coup that took place in March and later fighting between Tuareg and rebels. 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.

Timeline[edit | edit source]

1738 – 1756 West Africa's greatest recorded subsistence crisis, due to drought and locusts, reportedly killed half the population of Timbuktu
1905 - Most of the area was under French control as a part of French Sudan
1959 - French Sudan, which changed its name to the Sudanese Republic and Senegal united to become the Mali Federation
1960 - The Mali Federation gained independence from France
1968 - 1974 A devastating drought in which famine killed thousands of people

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